Uncategorized | April 12, 2004

I’m always excited when my interests in music and literature overlap. I’m an avid fan of Jeff Buckley, a musician who died in 1997 at a time when he was recording the follow-up to his first album, Grace. In a daunting “British Literature: Part 1” class I took a few years back, I was surprised to learn that the song I had heard hundreds of times on Grace, “Corpus Christi Carol,” was actually a medieval poem written in Chaucer’s Middle English. You can hear Buckley sing it by activating the media player on the site dedicated to him. The arrangement he sang was composed by Benjamin Britten. I’ve since learned that Buckley considered Rainer Maria Rilke an influence. He also collaborated with Allan Ginsberg on a spoken interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Ulalume,” which he recorded for an album of Poe readings. Another one of my favorite singers, Rufus Wainwright, has put William Blake’s “London,” from Songs of Experience, to music. I’d love to hear about more music-literature connections.

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