Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shakespeare in Jazz

“Shakespeare: Drama’s DNA.” Perf. Richard Eyre, Peter Brook, and Judy Dench. Dir. Roger Parsons. Changing Stages. Episode 1. BBC. 5 November 2000. Videocassette. Films for the Humanities, 2001.

As readers of Bardfilm know, we at Bardfilm try to document all the materials we use. Only occasionally do we find ourselves unable to provide full bibliographic information about the films and books we mention here.

However, we sometimes have to throw up our collective arms (that's an image for you) and acknowledge that we do not know the source and cannot track it down.

This is the case for a brief musical interlude that is at the end of the documentary mentioned above. As that volume ends, a delightful jazz number swells over the credits—credits that do not credit the author or performer of the song. Googling the lyrics, often a productive way of finding what others have said about them, produced nothing. To the best of my knowledge and belief, this is the only site that contains the lyrics to the song (which must, for the time being, rest both anonymous and untitled).

First, here's the song (with a slideshow of Shakespeare images provided by Bardfilm); the lyrics follow.

And here are the lyrics:
To be or not to be: That's the point, of course.
Lead on, Macduff. The Game's afoot. My Kingdom for a horse.
Once more into the breach, my friends—into the breach once more!
All the world's a stage, my friend: let slip the dogs of war.
If music be the food of love . . .
And here's an appeal: If any of you can provide information about this song, please do so in the comments below! Thank you very much!

Oh—the image above ought to have its own bibliographic entry! It's from I'm Not There, a film about Bob Dylan—one which has a very brief Shakespeare-related exchange (which is almost entirely encapsulated in the image above). Here's the bibliographic reference:

I'm Not There. Dir. Todd Haynes. Perf. Cate Blanchett, Ben Whishaw, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Kris Kristofferson, and Richie Havens. 2007. DVD. Ufa / DVD, 2008.

Links: I'm Not There at IMDB.

Click below to purchase I'm Not There from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).



Anonymous said...

Sir Richard Eyre, producer of Changing Scenes, is no longer with the BBC, so I left at query for him at the Globe and Mail, for which he occasionally writes, seeking his help in tracking down the arranger and singer of that marvelous jazz voiceover. Nothing like going to the top. But there was an interesting side question: How do you address a knight? "Dear Sir"? Too common. "Dear Sir Richard"? Too informal. "Good Knight'? Too flippant. I ended up putting "Query for Sir Richard Eyre" in the subject line and skipping the salutation. But I signed it "Sincerely" and left my full name and title.

kj said...

My goodness! Thank you very much! It's like Bardfilm has suddenly acquired a TA!


Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest