Thursday, April 30, 2009

This and That: Romeo and Juliet

Dire Straits: Romeo and Juliet


Indigo Girls: Romeo and Juliet


So... I was having a discussion with a friend recently about the song Romeo and Juliet - she prefers the Indigo Girls' version and, much as I love them as a songwriting duo, I'm obsessed with the original by Dire Straits. The former is too urgently strident for my taste, while the latter is more achingly plaintive - in either case, whether a wailed Julie or a whispered Juliet, it's a stunningly classic tune I've loved for decades.

Who can resist Mark Knopfler's thinly-veiled brilliant references to girl groups ("hey la, my boyfriend's back"), West Side Story ("there's a place for us, you know the movie song") and the balcony scene in Shakespeare's play ("all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme, I'd do the stars with you anytime"?

Cliff Eberhardt: Romeo and Juliet


Mark Knopfler: Romeo and Juliet


Cliff Eberhardt offers up a folk/Celtic/rock/twang mix (with backing vocals by Patty Larkin) that bridges the gap between the DS and IG renderings - I've also included the amazing live performance of R & J on Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' Real Live Roadrunning CD, which kicks off with a jaw-droppingly gorgeous piano solo and then segues into a 9-minute tour de force, which I tend to listen to on repeat play, loudly and often... :-)

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