A key for translating Shakespeare’s sonnets into a standard song format:
Listened on YouTube to various attempts at turning Shakespeare’s sonnets into songs. I don’t think these straight translations work very well. However Shakespeare is so clever that if you read the lines of his sonnets out of sequence as rhyming couplets (e.g. line 1 then 3 then 2 then 4 etc.) the sonnet usually still works well without losing the meaning. So I picked up a guitar, strummed some rhythms and improvised some vocal melodies to the rejigged lines and it all works great!
Wasn’t Shakespeare amazing. It would be so interesting to find out how his genius developed, what he saw and experienced in his life that helped him write such beauty and comprehend so deeply the human material condition in all its different aspects. I can think of other notable geniuses in history — Mozart in music, Newton in science etc. — but Shakespeare is a sort of mythical other, shrouded in mystery, whose breadth of insight has the greatest impact on me.