It isn’t often that you find a book that just begs you to read it aloud, but Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs is that kind of rare treat. Literature nerds and music geeks will love Erik Didriksen‘s infectious mash-ups of Shakespearean verse and Top-40 hits from the last several decades.
Take, for example, the Pop Sonnets version of The Cure’s “Friday, I’m in Love”:
I shall not care if ev’ry single week
begins with Monday wrapp’d in dismal blue
with Tuesday trailing after, looking bleak
in ashen gray, completely without hue.
On Wednesday morns, the gloomy break of dawn
may hoist the forlorn flag and follow suit.
Though Thursday wilt for too long linger on,
I’ll lie in wait for what’s in hot pursuit.
How Saturday turns briskly into night!
The Sabbath time will far too quickly race
through ev’ry moment bringing me delight
within my dear beloved’s fond embrace
— As th’ weekend starts, I thank the Lord above,
’tis Friday now, and truly I’m in love.
Admittedly, “Friday, I’m in Love” is one of Didriksen’s better renditions, but it certainly isn’t without peer. Some of the selections feel either too obscure or too contemporary, but these are far between. Even with its few misses, Pop Sonnets is a fun, lighthearted read with a broad — if nerdy — appeal.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Image: John VanderHaagen/flickr