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I would like to add that a great piece of classical music is "Romeo and Juliet: A Fantasy Overture," by the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. One theme was made into a popular song, as described in the Wikipedia article on Tchaikovsky's famous composition.
The main theme of the overture to Romeo and Juliet was adapted in 1939 by bandleader Larry Clinton as popular song "Our Love" (lyrics by Buddy Bernier and Bob Emmerich) and recorded by Clinton and by Jimmy Dorsey.
So many popular American tunes were derived directly from Tchaikovsky's concertos and symphonies that a novelty song came out titled "Everybody's Making Money but Tchaikovsky."
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet also inspired an opera by Charles Gounod and a ballet by Sergei Prokofiev which is probably Prokofiev's most popular work.
If the assignment/task is to identify six songs that could capture the spirit of the play, I think you will have a great many responses through which you will have to wade. I would propose that U2's "All I Want Is You" would be an excellent choice to help capture the essence of desperation in love that both Romeo and Juliet professed to feel for one another. Another U2 song which might speak clearly to the state of mind of both lovers would be "Love Is Blindness." Another song that could be used would be Del Shannon's "Runaway," for obvious reasons. I like the song "Somewhere" from West Side Story because it expresses the hopes of seeking a world far away from what is, and into the hopeful retreat of what can be. I think Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" could be used when Romeo slays Tybalt and Juliet waits for him, only to hear this news. "Someday, We'll Be Together" is another song that can help capture the spirit of two people in love who seek to find a better place where their love will triumph. The way Diana Ross and the Supremes belt out the song allows it to be quite meaningful for two people in love.
Actually, doesn't it seem as if most popular songs are about love and mostly about young love? The theme can be unrequited love, or former love, love for a particular person, or just a generalized desire for love ("Some day he'll come along, the man I love..."). And doesn't it seem as if half the movies are also about young love? If Romeo and Juliet is about young love, which it is, then almost any popular song can be said to relate to Romeo and Juliet. Young people never get tired of hearing about young love, and old people never get tired of remembering young love. Any young person who wants to write a novel would be well advised to write, not about his or her unhappy childhood, but about his or her first love affair.
"I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles: At the Capulet party, Romeo looked over and saw Juliet "standing there."
"Hello, I Love You" by the Doors: It seems that Romeo easily fell in and out of love. He loved Rosaline very intensely and was very depressed that she did not return his love. When he saw Juliet, it was love at first sight, and she returned his love. It just seems that he was looking for whomever would return his love.
"Love Story" by Taylor Swift: The entire play revolves around love.
"With or Without You" by U2: Romeo and Juliet had to have each other and they were determined to be together regardless of what they had to do.
"Love Comes Walking In" by Van Halen: Romeo was depressed over Rosaline until the Capulet party, when Juliet walked into his life.
"Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi: Romeo and Juliet were not wiling to say goodbye to each other. They were seriously determined to be together regardless of what they had to do.
I am surprised no one has mentioned any of the songs written by folk singer and songwriter Ewan MacColl for a London-based modern production of Romeo and Juliet done for BBC Radio in the late 1960s.
Perhaps the best known of these songs is one which has been recorded numerous times by male and female folksingers, "Sweet Thames Flow Softly," in which Romeo describes the sights of London and make of them grandiose evidence of his love for Juliet. The imagery is quite romantic, as it connects large London landmarks to sweeping gestures of love; for example, Romeo describes taking Hampton Court and twisting it into a bracelet for his love: "Limehouse Reach I gave her there, as a ribbon for her hair."
This site contains the complete lyrics and also lists a number of artists who have recorded the song. I heard a new recording of it just today by Heidi Talbot and Cherish the Ladies.
What a fun assignment (assuming the prior answer was correct in their assumption).
How about something for Romeo's initial unrequited love: "Hopelessly Devoted" from Grease, or "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady could be Romeo the night after the ball, while Juliet could be singing "I Could Have Danced All Night."
"Love Story" by Taylor Swift not only hits the theme, but mentions the lovers by name. And of course there is "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits.
It sounds like your teacher really wants you to have fun and be creative—my opinion would be to stay away from the Taylor Swift/Dire Straits-type songs if you are really trying to impress.
I couldn't resist. Even if it ends badly for the lovers, Romeo and Juliet brings a song to the heart. Every time I read it, song lyrics float through my mind. So let's go:
Absolutely, the number one Romeo and Juliet song is "Close to You" by The Carpenters: "Why do birds suddenly appear / every time you are near ... why do stars fall down from the sky ... just like me, they want to be, close to you." It sounds like what Romeo says at the balcony when he notes that Juliet's brilliance would make the birds believe it is morning and start to sing.
The rest come in a random order:
"You Are So Beautiful to Me" by Joe Cocker: "You're everything I hope for / You're everything I need." They believe they complete each other. Completely.
"If I Could Save Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce. Yes, if they could save time in a bottle, they would spend every minute with each other.
Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World": I can easily envision Romeo telling Juliet he doesn't know much about geography, "But I know that I love you [and if we could be together] ... what a wonderful world this could be."
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles: "When I touch you I feel happy inside."
"In My Life," by the Beatles. Both Romeo and Juliet love the people and places they used to know, like Mercutio and Tybalt, but nothing compares to their love for each other: "I love you more."
Wow this sounds like a really fun assignment. I did it earlier on this year and my entire AP English class enjoyed it (with the exception of a few boys(; but even a lot of the guys enjoyed it)
- Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits.
- Love Story by Taylor Swift
- Check Yes Juliet by We The Kings
It's Like Romeo And Juliet by Silk E. Fyne
Safe & Sound By: Taylor Swift
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
Romeo and Juliet by The Killers
Angel by Leona Lewis
You've Got To Hide Your Love by The Beatles
Kissing You (Romeo and Juliet 1996 version; Theme Song) by Des'reeHope I helped!
If the assignment/ task is to identify six songs that could capture the spirit of the play, I think you will have a great many responses through which you will have to wade. I would propose that U2's "All I Want is You" would be an excellent choice to help capture the essence of desperation in love that both Romeo and Juliet professed to feel for one another. Another U2 song which might speak clearly to the state of mind of both lovers would be "Love is Blindness." Another song that could be used would be Del Shannon's "Runaway," for obvious reasons. I like the song, "Somewhere" from "West Side Story," because it expresses the hopes of seeking a world far away from what is into the hopeful retreat of what can be. I think that Marvin Gaye's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" could be used when Romeo slays Tybalt and Juliet awaits for him, only to hear this news. "Someday, We'll Be Together" is another song that can help to capture the spirit of two people in love that seek to find a better place where their love will triumph. The way Ross and the Supremes belt out the song allows it to be quite meaningful for two people in love.
ONE HAND ONE HEART FROM WEST SIDE STORY
Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits
If you could only see by Tonic
Love Story Taylor Swift
Check yes Juliet by We the Kings
Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
I believe that the story of Romeo & Juliet can apply to a multitude of different songs, and not just the ones that are specifically written about the story. A few that I have found include:
Blindness by Metric
Landscape by Florence + the Machine
Meet Me on the Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie
Satellite by Guster
I Love You by Woodkid
Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
- Ron Pope - A Drop in the Ocean
- The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
- Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You Into the Dark
- Flyleaf - There for You
- A Fine Frenzy - Almost Lover
- Taylor Swift - Lovestory
All these songs represent the love that Romeo and Juliet have for each other, which includes their tragic death and how they will love each other no matter what.
- Love Story - Taylor Swift
- As Long as You Love Me - Justin Bieber
- Lovefool - The Cardigans
- 2000 Light Years Away - Green Day
- Drunk in Love - Beyonce
- Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble
I'm going to go a different route and tell you some songs in different languages that can relate to Romeo and Juliet :)
1. Missing You - 2NE1 http://www.metrolyrics.com/missing-you-lyrics-2ne1.html
3. Haru Haru - Big Bang http://kpopquote.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/lyric-haru-haru-big-bang-hangul-romanization-english/
4. Tears from Polaris - Nicholas Teo http://kikipixie.webs.com/chinesesongsgeneral.htm#495131385
5. Juliette - SHINee http://yuyaindou.blogspot.com/2009/11/juliette-lyric-english-translation.html
6. Far Away Young Love - C-Clown http://www.kpoplyrics.net/c-clown-far-away-young-love-lyrics-english-romanized.html
1. Penguin – Christina Perri (in juliet's perspective; how it mentions fate in the song and throughout the story)
2. A Drop In The Ocean - Ron Pope (romeo's love for rosaline in the beginning and how she doesn't love him which puts him in a state of depression)
3. Almost Lover - A fine Frenzy (The fact that they were almost lovers, because the feud between their families caused them to kill themselves)
4. Adele – Lovesong (from Juliet's perspective, saying "i will always love you" even when romeo killed tybalt, her beloved cousin)
5. The Beatles - I saw Her Standing There (first scene , when romeo saw juliet at capulet's party)
6. Runaway - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (when juliet drinks the poison; it's her last resort, her "runaway")
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