Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Bard : Under The Greenwood Tree


In the Spring of 1967 Sir Laurence Olivier met with Donovan who was then at the height of his sunshine superman stardom. Olivier asked Donovan to compose melodies for his modern production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It". In his autobiography Donovan writes that he was delighted to transform these songs:
I gave "Greenwood Tree" a light, rocking  musical form and kept the sonnet in the troubadour style.

 The lyrics are all Shakespeare's but they reflect Donovan's interest in nature.

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me
And tune his merry note....

Ever the mischief maker, Donovan couldn't pass up a little joke at the end. In the recording that appeared on A Gift From a Flower to a Garden (best known for the hit "Wear Your Love Like Heaven"),  Donovan sings:

Do the Willie the Shake
Do the Willie the Shake
Do the Willie the Shake

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