Friday, February 18, 2011

Ariel's Songs

In the Tempest, there are three songs that have consistently been a major part of classic and modern productions of the work. All three of these songs are sung by the airy spirit, Ariel. The songs are a very important aspect of the play because they are used to show Ariel's feelings as to what was happening in the scenes in which they are introduced. Here are some Youtube videos of each song:

#1 "Come Unto These Yellow Sands"- This song is the least popular of the three I will be outlining, but it is still a very important part of the work. It is sung in Act I Scene 2. I enjoy the artists interpretation, but think that it needs to be a little bit darker sounding and not so pretty.

#2 "Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies"- This song is also used in Act 1 Scene 2. To me, I think this interpretation is what Shakespeare would have wanted the song to sound like. It is mystical and as traditional sounding as "Come Unto These Yellow Sands".

#3 "Where the Bee Sucks, There Suck I"- Once again, I think this rendition of the song is not mystical enough. The Tempest is a play that evokes the imaginative. To me, this interpretation, while beautiful, needs to be a little bit more inviting to the imagination. A winged spirit is supposed to be singing, not the best concert singer of the time.

Lastly, I would like to post a video of a modern day song inspired by the Tempest. This song was written by the group The Decemberists and appears on their album The Crane Wife. My question to the blog following public is how do you think the song may be related to the play? Post your answers in the comments box.