Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Bard: When That I Was & A Little Tiny Boy

Elvis Costello/John Harle: When That I was & A Tiny Little Boy
[purchase (full album on vinyl?)]

Elvis Costello has on more than one occasion worked Shakespeare into his music, in fact, he did a whole album in 1993, named the Juliet Letters, whose concept revolved around sending letters to Juliet (of R& J fame) to the sounds of the Brodsky Quartet.

So it was not much of a surprise to anyone when in 1997 he was featured in John Harles album Terror and Magnificence where Shakespeare is set to John Harles saxophone.

A particular highlight for me When That I Was & A Little Tiny Boy, sung by Costello, is a song taken from Twelfth Night in which the character Feste, the fool of the household of Countess Olivia, reflects on the events that had transpired throughout the play. In this retrospective Feste demostrates the ability to correct foolish acts and times ability to temper things.

While detractors of Costello don’t bother with his solo output, I think he did an incredilble job with both the Juliet Letters, as well as, in Terror and Magnificence.

Perhaps it’s because of the amount of Shapespeare being crammed down my throat for three summers selling tickets to the theatre or maybe it’s because I enjoy musicians being self-indulgent or just maybe it’s because Costello’s delievery is so great but I enjoy the hearing Costello literally play the fool and make me sing lyrics from the Twelfth Night on my way to In-N-Out.

Guest post by Edgar

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