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Related Songs

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Three songs that relate to the play Romeo and Juliet. 

In today’s society, current pop culture music is able to relate to infamous Shakespearean plays such as Romeo and Juliet.  Theme, love and fate play critical roles in connecting lyrics from current songs to incidents of the play.  The majority of today’s artists write about their past experiences.  The characters of Romeo and Juliet relate to many of these songs because their lyrics center around two lovers. 

        “One Song Glory” from the musical Rent, holds a substantial relationship to the characters of Romeo and Juliet.  In the lyrics of “One Song Glory,” the speaker acknowledges, “From the pretty boy front man who wasted opportunities.” Like Romeo, the speaker too lived a life of wasted opportunity. If Romeo would not have killed Tybalt, then maybe the Montagues and Capulets would have understood why Romeo and Juliet got married. However, he wasted his opportunity for them to understand and was banished. The speaker goes on to say, “He had the world at his feet. Glory. In the eyes of a young girl.” Romeo was miserable without love in his life. Suddenly, he had everything he ever needed in the eyes of Juliet. “Before the sun sets, on another empty life.” This lyric could represent Romeo before he met Juliet. Without love he was nothing; however, Juliet was able to complete him and give his life meaning. In the song it also notes, “Before the virus takes hold.” The speaker is afraid of not having enough time to live and love before the aids virus takes a hold of his lover and himself. This passage relates to Juliet drinking the poison. Friar Lawrence is afraid there is not enough time to tell Romeo she is not dead. “Time flies time dies.” When Romeo and Juliet are together time flies; however, spending time apart is miserable for them both, their lives become meaningless and come to a standstill.

“My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic is another adequate representation of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The story line behind Titanic is based on two lovers also facing hardships. The song says, “Far across the distance and spaces between us you have come to show you got on.” The distance in the song could represent the physical distance created by their opposing families. Even though their families despise each other, Romeo and Juliet’s love overpowers their opposition. “Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime and never go till we’re gone.” This lyric illustrates how love made an impact on the lives of Romeo and Juliet.  They would die just to be together, rather than live life apart.  There were one on earth and through their deaths became one in heaven.  The lyrics state, “There is some love that will not go away.” Although Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, her love for him is still too strong to allow his choice to affect her.  “We’ll stay forever this way. You are safe in my heart and my heart will go on.” This represents Romeo and Juliet’s actions of suicide and staying together in heaven for all of time. 



“Without You” from the musical Rent, relates immensely to the play Romeo and Juliet. This song is based on two lovers who cannot live without the other.  When one of the lovers dies and the other is left to mourn, this song is sung to realize what the world is like enduring the absence of a significant other.  The lyrics suggest, “Without you, the eyes gaze, the legs walk, the lungs breathe.” While Romeo is banished all of these things still occur; however, his heart is empty without Juliet.  “The tears dry.” A substantial amount of tears were shed over the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio; however, eventually those tears fade and one can more easily deal with day to day life.  “Life goes on, but I’m gone.”  Being banished is a rather difficult physical separation.  During Romeo’s banishment, he reminds himself that his love is still out there living her life.  This song also goes on to say, “Life goes on, but I’m gone. Cause I die without you.” At the end of the play, Romeo thought Juliet was dead.  Once he saw her motionless body, his heart died.  He found no point in living without the love of his life so he commits suicide. 

        “One Song Glory,” “My Heart Will Go On,” and “Without You” are only a few of the numerous songs that one could relate to Romeo and Juliet. Music is able to show ties between fate and love.  Wasted opportunities and previous loves often create lingering memories.  As current musicians and Romeo and Juliet had to learn the hard way; love is truly something worthy of dying for.