I got hooked on Shakespeare when I was fourteen years old, after seeing Richard Burton play Hamlet. That play has been a lifelong obsession, Ive seen countless productions, and directed my own adaptation in 1991 at Suffolk University in Boston. Some were good, some were not, but the play survived most of its mishandlings, at least until the 21st Century, when both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Englands National Theatre started incorporating the worst tendencies of North American stagecraft. For the last several years I have watched Shakespeare go down the toilet until now, after enduring the ultimate insult of the Benedict Cumberbatch Hamlet, I must admit we are in danger of yielding Shakespeares stage to the plebians of modern theatre. I was going to write an essay on Shakespeares final hour, but what would be the use? The only people who would read it would want to start a fight about it. So I wrote a song instead, believing that people who listen to popular music are smarter than those who believe there is still life in the remnants of genius that are being cut to ribbons and sold in the market like the robe of Jesus Christ.
The greatest literary scholar of our time, Professor Harold Bloom of Yale University, has fought for the last 50 years to maintain the sanctity of Shakespeare, Dante, and the rest of the classical canon of Western Literature in the ever downspiraling curriculum of North American Universities. I had the plleasure once of seeing him walk off the stage of Cambridges ART during a debate with Carol Gilligan over Hedda Gabler. He could not abide an audience that preferred her warped point of view over his classically trained mind. So for all the work he, and his protege Camile Paglia, have done to defend the geniuses of antiquity against the mediocre minds of 20st Century and 21st Centry Academia, I have prefaced and epilogued this song which will conclude this group of songs written for my new album Lovestreams, with a few words from Professor Bloom.
Click on this link to hear the song https://billwhite.bandcamp.com/track/shakespeares-final-hour