Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day? (Sonnet 18)

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Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day? (Sonnet 18)

Sheet Music by Special Request only

Performed by Jennie Emery & Michael Mikulin

Note: This song is a setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. The duet markings and musical form divisions are my own invention, and have no bearing on the original sonnet.

Chorus
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? {he}
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, {she}
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. {together}

Verse
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, {he}
And often is his gold complexion dimmed. **
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed. {together}

Bridge
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, {he}
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st; {she}
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade, {he}
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. {together}
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.

Altered Chorus
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, {he}
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. {she}

{original text ends here — the rest is my addition}

Coda (overlapping lines)
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? {he}
(So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.) {she}
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
(So long lives this, and this gives life to thee).
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.

**I opted for the modern pronunciations of “dimmed” and “untrimmed” for the purposes of the song, but in Shakespeare’s day, the words would have been pronounced “dim-med” and “untrim-med”.

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1 comment

  1. Posted by Sandra Coakley, at Reply

    Excellent website and a lovely idea to promote the music of Shakespeare. I particularly like being able to hear the songs performed, and your settings are delightful.

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