Saturday 10 May 2014

Shakespearean Innovation: The Modern Hamlet Monologue

POST #39
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Major General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance". 
LYRICS: modified from W. Shakespeare "Hamlet (Prince of Denmark)".
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, January 2013.  


(to the tune of "The Major-General's Song") 

Major General Stanley

Ken Branagh as Hamlet

The bard named William Shakespeare, though we sometimes see him as a seer,

In this regard aped Chris, his pard, and other 'lizabethan peers;

They backed the wrong verse-horse, which proved a musical calamiter:
           D                                                            A7               D

Their tragi-comic scripts were scribed in iambic pentameter.

      D7                                                                     Gm

To cite just one example from a spectacle eponymous;
       F7                                                                Bb  

Protagonizing recitation of his pond'rings ominous
           D7                                                                                     Gm

Gives Hamlet back-row status when upstaged by old Polonius,
            Eb7                                                                               D7

Who's scatting catchy melodies from Brubeck and Thelonious.


To be or not to be, that is the question; whether mentally

'Tis nobler in the mind to suffer arrows incidentally

And slings of fate outrageous; or take arms against a sea of woes,
        D                                                               A7                          D 

And with a drubbing end those troubling shocks we devoutly oppose.

      D7                                                                               Gm
To die or sleep might help us keep those achy-breaky hearts at bay;
      F7                                                                                              Bb
To sleep, perchance to dream; aye, there's the rubbish plain in what I say:                                                                                                                      D7                                                                                               Gm 
In sleep of death, what dreams, when we have shuffled off this mortal noose
          Eb7                                                                                     D7
Must give us pause to contemplate the square on the hypotenuse.

       D7                                                                                   Gm  
For who would bear the whips and scorns of temporal adversity.
       F7                                                                                          Bb

Oppressor's wrong, the pangs of despised love, and such perversity?
          D7                                                                                         Gm

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and we sit idle - ly,
       Eb7                                                                      D7 

For none dare bare a bodkin, to employ it sui-cidally. 


That undiscover'd country, singing Shakespeare, posed for centuries,

Has puzzled wills, but why wait 'til we're long-in-tooth or dentury?

I wrote this rhyming flyer and I now can post it on a blog,
       D                                               A7                       D

My sing-along soliloquy ... the Modern Hamlet Monologue.

        G                  D7                                  G                            D7             

This tantalizing task he's flogged; his post can boast upon a blog -
       G                    C                      G            D7         G

His sing-along soliloquy's the Modern Hamlet Monologue.


The Prince's many solos in this play when spoke sound tedious;

We now anticipate to hear them crooned - but hold off, greedy us;
   G                             D                     G                                D

I might insert some trios trilled by Gertrude, Ghost and Claudius,
         G                           D                          G              G7                D       
With scoring, although borrowed, quite encoring and applaudious.
       G                         D7                             G               D7                            
For now, I'll post upon my blog, both digital and analogue,
       G                     C                     G            D7          G   

My Sing-Along Soliloquy's the Modern Hamlet Monologue.

        G                                 D7                               G                         D7  
This plugged up conduit he's unclogged, he now can post it on a blog,
       G                      C                     G            D7          G

His Sing-Along Soliloquy's the Modern Hamlet Monologue.

Enjoy chord-charts and lyrics at the Corktown Ukulele Jam songbook:
Corktunes: Modern Hamlet Monologue

PlayingNotes: Eb7 is easily fingered by using the barred version of D7, up the neck 1 position
Weird Al Yankovic - a Hamlet moment

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