Friday, October 9, 2009


It was Shakespeare who in Twelfth Night gave the words to the Duke of Orsino that went:

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

There is also a piece by Henry Purcell entitled – If music be the food of love. Part piano, part a cappella the lyrics were penned by Henry Heveningham. The first line of Heveningham’s poem quotes the opening seven words of Twelfth Night which gave rise to the belief that Purcell’s song is a setting of a Shakespearean text. That it is not so as is clearly seen when you read Heveningham’s lines that follow.

If music be the food of love,
sing on till I am fill'd with joy;
for then my list'ning soul you move
with pleasures that can never cloy,
your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare that you are music ev'rywhere.
Pleasures invade both eye and ear,
so fierce the transports are, they wound,
and all my senses feasted are,
tho' yet the treat is only sound.
Sure I must perish by our charms, unless you save me in your arms.

Now music is very subjective and the choice a person may choose to make love too would reflect both their taste and their mood at the time.

I believe there is a recent album entitled "Music to make love to you old lady by" – which sets the tone sure enough but of course has the presumption that the choice would be the male’s and not the female’s. Experience tells me the opposite might be the truth.

You of course will have your own love theme – give my advanced years and musical taste I think the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana might suit the bill. If I died in the act it would also be a suitable funeral anthem as the music sends me to heaven.

You might counter – "no it should be the William Tell Overture –the Clockwork Orange version" – then sadly I would have to love you - and leave you!


Anonymous said...

Jose Felliciano Light My Fire does it for me!

Anonymous said...

Now I shall never be able to listen to that again without
thinking of some poor bloke falling off the kitchen table. Actually I think the conductor had a woman underneath his rostrum. Seriously - beautiful piece, always sends me off into raptures.