Celebrating Shakespeare in song!

Happy New Year’s Eve, eve. Let’s have some fun and look at an endearing musical; one that continues to draw in audiences some 67 years later.

On this day in 1948, Cole Porter’s “Kiss me Kate’, a musical based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” opens on Broadway. It will be the first musical to earn a  Tony Award for Best Musical, and earned four more:Best Produced Show, Best Script, Best Score and Best Costumes. It was the first musical to have the soundtrack available on L.P.

The song list:

 

Always True To You In My Fashion

Another Op’ning, Another Show

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Finale

From This Moment On

I Hate Men

I’m Ashamed That Women Are So Simple

I’ve Come To Wive It Wealthily In Padua

Tom, Dick Or Harry

Too Darn Hot

Were Thine That Special Face

Where Is The Life That Late I Led?

Why Can’t You Behave?

Wunderbar

Of all of the songs, the one that remains a fan favorite of both theater and Shakespeare, is of course, “Brush up on Your Shakespeare”. If you are not familiar with this gem it goes like this:

The girls today in society
Go for classical poetry,
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides.
But the poet of them all
Who will start ’em simply ravin’
Is the poet people call
The bard of Stratford-on-Avon.
Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Just declaim a few lines from “Othella”
And they think you’re a heckuva fella.
If your blonde won’t respond when you flatter ‘er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer,
And if still, to be shocked, she pretends well,
Just remind her that “All’s Well That Ends Well.”
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kowtow.
Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
If your goil is a Washington Heights dream
Treat the kid to “A Midsummer Night Dream.”
If she fights when her clothes you are mussing,
What are clothes? “Much Ado About Nussing.”
If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the “Coriolanus.”
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kowtow,
And they’ll all kowtow,
And they’ll all kowtow.
Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kowtow!

Celebrating Shakespeare with a song

Now that you know the lyrics, sing along with Micheal Jibson and James Doherty while they sing in the Royal Albert Hall.

 

Reference Material

All the lyrics.com

Tams-Witmark Music Library

 

 

 

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Shakespeare in song!”

  1. A pleasant way to end the year; listened to a YouTube of the original Broadway cast, where some lyrics are omitted and rearranged from what you’ve given. So which version is the “bad quarto?” 😉
    Happy new year!

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  2. Ha! I like that there are some deliberate mistakes sharing a knowing wink (like ‘Othella’) but I particularly like the couplet If she says your behavior is heinous | Kick her right in the “Coriolanus.” in showing how to pronounce ‘heinous’ — even if I can’t condone the action!

    Recovering from a nasty bug that has straddled the Christmas period and which is still hanging on with gross desperation, so hope you’re well and that the horrible weather in the northern hemisphere exacerbated by El Nino isn’t affecting you too much. Here, we’re tempted to change the Holiday Inn song to “I’m Dreaming of a Wet Christmas” as this seems to be becoming the norm for the UK …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year Chris. Yes, the bug is going around here too, and the weather, to quote a Christmas song, is frightful. After a large snow storm the temperature dropped to single digits, but I cannot complain. I have lived through a few floods and know how awful it is to deal with so much water. I hope you are managing to stay high and dry as we say over here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you’re safe and sound! We’re literally high and dry as our new home is several tens of metres above the flood plain of the Usk, deliberately so; sadly the poor flooded-out people in Northern England didn’t have that luxury, and I know that’s it’s been horrific elsewhere in the world.

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