Shakespeare’s works are frequently cast in modern form, but Erik Didriksen, the man behind the Tumblr “Pop Sonnets,” has reversed this formula, rewinding the clock on current pop songs to render them in the form of Shakespearean sonnets.
The Shakespearean sonnet form, to which Didriksen meticulously adheres, consists of three quatrains and a couplet, with the rhyming pattern ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Didriksen also recasts modern idioms into Shakespearean diction: Stacy’s Mom, of Fountains of Wayne fame, doesn’t “got it goin’ on,” but instead “beckons like a Siren’s song.” But as that example demonstrates, the subjects of modern pop lyrics are not far from those that interested the Bard: Is the frustration in Magic’s “Rude” concerning the protestations of a lover’s father really so different from the yearning of a Montague for his forbidden Capulet?
Didriksen explained in an email that he was inspired by a Shakespearean treatment of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” He admits that properly conjugating the verbs after “thee” and “thou” required some research, but his background in music helped him attend to the sonnets’ rhythms.
Below are some of our favorites, paired with the songs they reimagine:
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
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- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.