The Plays Of William Shakespeare
by Karl Hitzemann
This is a lighthearted Renaissance-ish tune that lists 19 of William Shakespeare's wonderful and amazing plays, which basically fit into three categories – tragedies, comedies, and histories. Presenting this song would be a great way to honor the man who is the author of some of the world's most celebrated written works. And, of course, this is another great piece that goes across the curriculum. Make sure to let your classroom teachers know about this terrific opportunity to study this remarkable historic figure.
The song is in unison which makes it easier to learn. When it repeats to the beginning, there is a quick bit of dialog between two of your singers, basically stating that from 1589 to 1612, William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and that they are about to list (sing) a few more. You don't have to do this dialog if you don't want to. You could simply have your singers move or dance around a bit, and/or say "huzzah" to each other during the four bar interlude. Or, you could take the opportunity to list even more of Shakespeare's plays. A quick Internet search will reveal the others not already listed in the song.
The accompaniment features a harpsichord, hand drum, recorder, strings, and an authentic lute. If you really want to get into the spirit of the piece, light costumes would be appropriate, too. Kings, queens, jesters, and similar characters of the period would add a lot of pizzazz to the huzzahs.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.