Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs by Erik Didriksen is one of those little gems of a book that have you laughing, smiling and wanting to share the moment with others around you. It will unleash your inner geekness of both literature and music.
The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys. Shakespeare melds with Simon and Garfunkel. Victorian England clashes with Vanilla Ice.
“…An older man, he asks me for a song forgotten, but well-lov’d in younger age. The barkeep swears he doth not there belong behind the bar, but up upon the stage. The sailor and the merchant, they converse – the wenches flirt – the merchants, the get soused. The tavern’s owner smiles about the purse he’s earned from the crowd I’ve here arous’d…”
“…The creak of carriage wheels I long have heard but I may never watch their weary turn; for I’m within this dungeon e’er interr’d to wait until my soul in Hell shall burn. My mother taught me morals, clear and plain: the principles to which I should aspire; yet I’ve another person coldly slain in Reno, just to watch his life expire…”
“…Let not thy pride dissuade thee from their aid, or think I speak of what I do not know; for in my troubled youth, ’twas there I stay’d to lift myself from poverty and woe. We’ve cause to thank them over and again, this brotherhood for good young Christian men!…
That was Piano Man by Billy Joel, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash and of course I’m sure you recognize YMCA by the Village People.
The collection of pop songs both old and new is impressive as is the translation of the lyrics into Shakespeare’s wording. This was a labor of love, of passion and or irreverent humor. Someone obviously has way too much time on their hands. And that is something to be thankful for.
I have often followed characters in my reading. I have followed authors. But it is rare that I follow a publisher. Quirk Books is one I do. Their books are fun and ridiculous and just a good time. From their Star Wars into Shakespeare to their well selected Science Fiction and Fantasy line. Quirk Books is a small publishing house that puts out damn good reads.
So kick back and have a little fun. Believe me, you have not lived until you have read Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back in Shakespeare!