What songs correspond with five scenes from Romeo and Juliet?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet has produced several modern productions. These productions have lovely soundtracks to accompany them, from which songs can be gleaned.

Some of these songs from soundtracks as well as other popular songs are suggested here for five scenes:

1. "A Time for Us" sung by Andy Williams, from the soundtrack of the 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet. (Act I, Scene 5)

Pertinent to the first meeting in Act I, Scene 5, and the balcony scene of Act II, Scene 2 is this song, whose lyrics include the following verse:

A time for us, someday there'll be
When chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free
A time when dreams, so long denied
Can flourish as we unveil the love we now must hide....

2. "Marry Me" sung by Train (Act II, Scene 2)

This song can accompany the famous balcony scene in which Romeo swears his love to Juliet:

My love will never end
Till death do us part
When I wake up everyday
With you lying in my arms 

Yet, while the entire song is appropriate to the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet, it also is applicable to other scenes, such as the death scene in Act V, Scene 3.

Forever can never be long enough for me
Feel like I've had long enough with you
Forget the world now we won't let them see
But there's one thing left to do 

3. "Til Death Do Us Part" sung by Kait Weston (Act II, Scene 3)

This song features a video from one of the productions of Romeo and Juliet. The initial scene is that of Romeo and Juliet holding hands and hurriedly descending the steps leading from the cell of Friar Lawrence, where they have just been married (Act II, Scene 3). Of course, these are words extracted from the marriage ceremony, but they also relate to the ending of the drama. Especially prophetic is this verse:

Just be still
I’ll carry your will
They'll never keep us apart
And bury me deep
My love is yours to keep
‘Til death do us part
See you soon
‘Til death do us part

Also featured in the video to Kait Weston's song is the Bedroom Scene in which Romeo and Juliet consummate their marriage before he flees Verona. For both these scenes, the song can act as foreshadowing.

4. "Suicide" sung by Rihanna (Act IV, Scene 1) 

This song reflects the anguish of Juliet. After her father demands that Juliet marry Count Paris, she is so distraught that she goes to Friar Lawrence because she is considering suicide. How can she marry Paris when she is already married to Romeo? Friar Lawrence devises a plan to make it seem as though Juliet has killed herself. He gives her a potion to ingest; the effect of this potion is that her breathing will be so shallow that she will seem as though she is dead. During the hours that Juliet is in this condition, the priest hopes to end the animosity between the two families. When Juliet returns to the living, then her parents will be so elated that they will forgive the lovers for getting married. 

The fourth verse reflects Juliet's thoughts before she drinks the potion that Friar Lawrence has given her:

Loving you is suicide.
I don't know should I go or should I stay.
I'm trying to keep myself alive
knowing there's a chance it's all too late.
But I heard you say you loved me
that's the part I can't forget.
And I wish that you'd come save me boy
'cause I'm standing over the edge.

5. "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits (Act V, Scene 3)

This song draws parallels between a modern situation and the damages to the love of Romeo and Juliet. While the song recalls the initial meeting of Romeo and Juliet, one verse relates well to Romeo's thoughts before he commits suicide in the final act: 

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?