Not Afraid Of Greatness – Shakespeare’s Sonnets

by Hallam London

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    The CD comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with a 28 page booklet. The latter contains photographs and the 9 original sonnets used for the songs, along with their German translation.
    The sleeve is made of a beautiful recycled cardboard. The booklet is printed on recycled paper using colours made from renewable raw materials.

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credits

released April 23, 2014

William Shakespeare’s Sonnets
composed and produced by Hallam London

Hallam London – vocals, guitars, keyboards and programming
Alex Fox – bass guitar and synthesizers on tracks 2, 5, 8, 9
Michael Wünsch – drums and programming on tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

arranged and recorded by Hallam London, except tracks 2, 5, 8, 9: arranged and recorded by Hallam London, Michael Wünsch and Alex Fox, drums on track 3 recorded by Michael Wünsch
string arrangement on track 9 by Michael Wünsch

mixed by Hallam London, except tracks 2, 9: mixed by Hallam London, Michael Wünsch, Alex Fox
drum mix on track 5 by The EmU

mastered by The EmU, www.theemu.de

Design: GRUNDSATZ Büro für Grafikdesign, Kerstin Hübsch, www.grundsatz-grafikdesign.de

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SHAKESEPARE’S SONNETS turned into stunning songs in between ALTERNATIVE ROCK and ELECTRONIC POP

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Track Name: Old Words New (Sonnet 76)
SONNET LXXVI

Why is my verse so barren of new pride?
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strage?

Why write I still all one, ever the same.
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?

O know sweet love I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument:
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:

For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.
Track Name: So True A Fool Is Love (Sonnet 57)
SONNET LVII

Being your slave what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend;
Nor services to do, till you require.

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour.
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
When you have bid your servant once adieu.

Nor dare I question with my jealous thought,
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But like a sad slave stay and think of naught
Save where you are, how happy you make those.

So true a fool is love, that in your will,
Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.
Track Name: Kingdoms Of Hearts (Sonnet 70)
SONNET LXX

That thou are blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair,
The ornament of beauty is suspect,

A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve,
Thy worth the greater being wooed of time,
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,

And thou present’st a pure unstainéd prime.
Thou hast passed by the ambush of young days,
Either not assailed, or victor being charged,
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy, evermore enlarged,

If some suspect of ill masked not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.
Track Name: Love Alters Not (Sonnet 116)
SONNET CXVI

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no, it is an ever-fixéd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring barque,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Track Name: Pity The World (Sonnet 1)
SONNET I

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:

But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.

Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And tender churl mak’st waste in niggarding.

Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.
Track Name: Winter Pt. 1 (Sonnet 97)
SONNET XCVII

How like a winter hath my abscence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!

And yet this time removed was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widowed wombs after their lords’ decease:

Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit,
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute.

Or if they sing, ‘tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
Track Name: Winter Pt. 2 (Sonnet 98)
SONNET XCVIII

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him.

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell:
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:

Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose,
They were but sweet, but figures of delight:
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
Track Name: Tired (Sonnet 66)
SONNET LXVI

Tired with all these for restful death I cry,
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,

And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabléd,

And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill.

Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that to die, I leave my love alone.
Track Name: Devouring Time (Sonnet 19)
SONNET XIX

Devouring Time blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood,
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood,

Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st,
And do whate’er thou wilt swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets:
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime,

O carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen,
Him in thy course untainted do allow,
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.

Yet do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong
My love shall in my verse ever live young.