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I love it when music and literature intersect.

I know I wrote about Mumford & Sons just yesterday, but I was listening to the title track from their debut release Sigh No More today and I can’t keep it to myself any longer. Those of you who are familiar with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing may have felt a spark of recognition when reading their album title, and you’d be right in thinking that perhaps this tune took its influence from the song and several of Benedick’s lines featured throughout Shakespeare’s play.

Before I say any more, if you’ve not seen the film adaption of Much Ado About Nothing it’s well worth a watch. It was adapted by Kenneth Branagh, who is completely faithful to the play and puts in a stellar performance as the eternal bachelor Benedick opposite Emma Thompson’s eternal spinster Beatrice. I remember when I first saw this film and I thought that they must have invented their own lines and just given them a Shakespeare-esque feel – until then I had never known that Shakespeare could be so funny! The play is fantastic too, and a less challenging read than some of his more well known works.

What I love about this song is how they’ve taken little snippets of the play and woven them in. ‘Serve God, love me and mend’ is a line that Benedick speaks to Beatrice and I’ve always admired its simplicity. It’s a beautiful opening line. ‘Man is a giddy thing’ is also a Benedick quote and refers to the human tendency to be unpredictable and fickle and unsure.

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Serve God love me and mend
This is not the end
Lived unbruised we are friends
And I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Sigh no more, no more
One foot on sea and one on shore
My heart was never pure
And you know me
And you know me

And man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing

Love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
At my heart you see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Here’s a live rendition – the picture isn’t always fantastic but for a live video, the sound is pretty good.

William Shakespeare
Sigh no more, ladies sigh no more
Men were deceivers ever
One foot on sea, and one on shore
To one thing constant never
Then sigh not so, but let them go
And be you blithe and bonny
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny

Sing no more ditties, sing no more
Of dumps so dull and heavy
The fraud of men was ever so
Since summer first was leavy
Then sigh not so, but let them go
And be you blithe and bonny
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny

Sigh No More (Live Woxy Session) – Mumford & Sons

For the rest of this session, head to Woxy.com

Favourite Benedick quote:
“When I said I would die a bachelor… I did not think I would live till I were married.”

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