Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits

ShakespeareLast week we celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. It was a small gathering at Chuck E. Cheese, and I lost poor Yorick’s head in the ball bath. Heyooooo.

My social media was abuzz with phrases in our lexicon that old Bill originated. One in particular jumped out at me and inspired this week’s playlist.

So here you go: A few songs that may never have happened if not for Shakespeare:

“Heart of Gold,” Neil Young. “The king’s a bawcock, and a heart of gold….” –Henry V

“Love is Blindness,” U2. “But love is blind and lovers cannot see / The pretty follies that themselves commit.” – The Merchant of Venice

“I’ve Seen Better Days,” Sublime. “True is it that we have seen better days….” –As You Like It

“The World is My Oyster,” Frankie Goes to Hollywood. “Why then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.” –The Merry Wives of Windsor

“Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin. “All that glitters is not gold.” –The Merchant of Venice

“Ides of March,” Iron Maiden. “Beware the Ides of March.” –Julius Caesar

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” The Charlie Daniels Band. “And I will take up that with ‘Give the devil his due.'” –Henry IV, Part 1

“Hot Blooded,” Foreigner. “The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on. Now, the hot-bloodied-Gods assist me!” –The Merry Wives of Windsor

“Night Owl,” The Little River Band. “The dove sleeps fast that this night-owl will catch:
Thus treason works ere traitors be espied.” – The Rape of Lucrece

“Too Much of a Good Thing,” The Troggs. “Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?” – As You Like It


“Up In Arms,” Foo Fighters. “March on, march on, since we are up in arms.” – Richard III

This list could creep in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, but I think I’ll leave it at that. Do you have some tasty additions? I’m listening.

4 replies »

  1. Great list, but how could you leave out Rush’s “Limelight”? The Bard: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” — As You Like It, Act II, scene 7. Neil Peart’s response: “All the world’s indeed a stage and we are merely players . . . ”


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