Monday, February 18, 2008

Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits)

So... I was having a discussion with a friend Saturday (Hi, Mel!) about the song Romeo and Juliet - she prefers the Indigo Girls' version and, as much as I love them as a songwriting duo, I'm obsessed with the original by Dire Straits. The former is too urgently strident for my taste, while the latter is more achingly plaintive - in either case, whether a wailed Julie or a whispered Juliet, it's a stunningly classic tune I've loved for decades. Who can resist "all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme, I'd do the stars with you anytime"? - swoon... :-)

There is an amazing live version of R & J on Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' All the Roadrunning CD - it kicks off with a jaw-droppingly gorgeous piano solo and then segues into a 9-minute tour de force, which I listened to four times in a row, loudly, on my 30+ minute drive to Ft. Lauderdale for a meeting this evening!

All this of course motivated me to make a Shakespeare-themed mix CD, which I'll work on tomorrow morning before I go to work and give to my friend Stephen/Mosh (who lives in Massachusetts) tomorrow evening - his parents rent a condo in Delray Beach for a few months every year, and he comes down to visit for a week. He's my Falcon Ridge buddy, and I adore his mom and dad as well - looking forward to a nice dinner together and catching up on each other's lives!

P.S. I'll add the final tracklist to this post in the next few days - I'll also ensure the compilation makes it into the hands of a few interested parties (see above-mentioned Mel, who I must thank for the inspiration... :-)

Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits

BOOK: Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Plays, His Poems, His Life and Times, and More by Charles Boyce

POEM: The Bargain by Cyrus Cassells

In the transatlantic fury
when I feared
I might not survive
to see Florence,
clutching an elfin
Love Sonnets of Shakespeare,
I implored:
Lord, let me live
long enough to dare
a love poem—
In time, of course, the skies
stopped glowering.

And in the Tuscan summer's imperial
segue into autumn,
poetry burgeoned—
It's not only the active grace,
the glory between us:
these praise songs spring
from a holy bargain,
from my deepest desire
to live.

QUOTE: "Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs." ~ William Shakespeare


  1. You *know* that I will be anxiously awaiting my own copy of that cd! *wink*

    Pretty please? With cinnamon on top?

  2. Hey, M ~

    Did you say cinnamon?!? - of course I'll head a copy in your direction... :-)

    I never managed to make the Shakespeare mix in time to give Stephen before he left town - however, I have grand plans to work on it this weekend... and I'll most certainly keep you posted (as well as mail it to him upon completion!).

  3. Have you ever heard Monte Montgomery's version of Romeo & Juliet? It's astonishing. Not taking away from Dire Straits or the Indigos, just a different and equally passionate version. I don't think he's ever recorded it on a record but there are versions on YouTube and MySpace. Check him out.

  4. Hey, Montiac -

    Thanks for the heads-up! - I'll most definitely check out Monte Montgomery's version when I have an opportunity later today... :-)