One modern song that has the carpe diem theme characteristic of Marlowe's ''The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" is Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young."
Joel's song possesses an urgency and libidinous nature similar to Marlowe's proposition to his love, as Marlowe asks his love to come live...
with him and enjoy the carnal pleasures:
Come live with me, and be my love,And we will all the pleasures prove,
In Billy Joel's song, the speaker urges Virginia to partake in carnal pleasures with him. There is also a sense of immediacy in both Joel's and Marlowe's verses. Joel's character tells the young woman Virginia:
So come on Virginia show me a signSend up a signal and I'll throw you the lineThe stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind....
Marlowe's speaker tells his lady that he will provide great pleasure to her in the time of fertility and love if she will come out from her "curtain" of virginity. His poem is clearly erotic as he promises his lady a bed of roses, with the bed, of course, being a very suggestive item. Similarly, Billy Joel's character suggests the enjoyment that he will create for his love:
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saintsThe sinners are much more fun.
Indeed, both poem and song are carpe diem verses.