The Lost Boys (MySpace) are a popular attraction at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Billing themselves as Renaissance rockers, they often record traditional music and filks about Renaissance subject matter.
I never miss the Georgia Renaissance Festival, and when I go, I have to see the Lost Boys at least once.
The Lost Boys have recorded two songs written by the Bard (a third attributed to Shakespeare in their liner notes has also been attributed to Richard Barnfield, and because the authorship is uncertain, I decided not to include it here).
“Who is Sylvia” appears in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 2. If you decide to teach this play, your students might enjoy hearing what the musician might actually have sounded like.
“The Horn” appears in As You Like It Act IV, Scene 2. Again, students might appreciate hearing the song.
If you like these traditional versions of Shakespearean songs, you might also like Songs and Dances from Shakespeare.
What I find more fun, however, are the Lost Boys’ filks based on Shakespeare’s plays. If your students are reading Hamlet, they might enjoy “Hamlet Blues.”
Students will probably recognize a few bars of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Kill Her.”
My personal favorite, however, is “Desdemona,” set to the music of “My Sharona” by the Knack.
O you dirty ho, Iago, he done told me
you doin’ Cassio, but not no mo’
O why did you have to lie,
I think the songs are fun, and perhaps your students will enjoy them. I will enclose one last song that has nothing whatsoever to do with Shakespeare, but is a great favorite of mine: