Songs For Every Book

Romeo and Juliet in Top 40 Music

Sure, the song itself mentions Juliet at one point. But have you ever thought about how the song really does mimic Shakespeare’s play in certain ways?

A guy sees a girl in a room where everyone’s dancing.

He’s more into her than she’s into him…at least at first. (I mean, she likes him alright, but she’s not taking it quite as seriously…)

More specifically:

Pop version: “We were victims of the night,” “we were bound to get together,” “this woman is my destiny”

Shakespeare version: Romeo says “my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars”

Pop version: “I felt it in my chest when she looked at me”

Shakespeare version: “Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! / For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

Pop version: “Shut up and dance with me”

Shakespeare version: “Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, / Which mannerly devotion shows in this… / Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer”

Of course there are a lot of different things in the song, too…backless dresses and beat up sneaks, the girl approaching the guy first, etc. But it’s still fun to think about!

Do you know any other songs that reference Romeo and Juliet or remind you of the story in general? Let me know in the comments!

You might also like: Classical Music Stories: Romeo and Juliet and Songs for Every Book: Romeo and Juliet


6 thoughts on “Romeo and Juliet in Top 40 Music”

  1. I’m not really a Shakespeare expert, but one song that popped into my head immediately was Love Story by Taylor Swift. Also I LOVE this song!!!! I go nuts when someone mentions it! ~Anne

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my gosh, I can really see/hear the similarities! Especially the line about the family tree. I always seem to forget about Florence + The Machine, but she has such an amazing voice and music in general. Thanks for sharing this song!

      Liked by 1 person

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