11 Popular Songs That Reference Shakespeare

1. "Romeo and Juliet" – Dire Straits

Dolly Parton, Steve Forbert, Elvis Costello, Michael Penn... These are just a few of many artists who've referenced the name Romeo in their songs. But this beautiful tune from Mark Knopfler stands out for its streetwise retelling of the tragic love story. Sample couplet: "Juliet the dice were loaded from the start / And I bet, and you exploded in my heart."

2. "You've Got Everything Now" – The Smiths

Morrissey has flirted with the Bard in several songs, most notably "Cemet'ry Gates" and this one, which opens with a slight variation on a line from Much Ado About Nothing: "As merry as the days were long."

3. "I Am the Walrus" – The Beatles

With their all-encompassing cultural reach, you might think that the Fab Four would've had more Shakespeare references in their songs. But there was only this one, and it was a happy accident. While making a sound collage for "Walrus"'s fadeout, they switched on a radio in the studio and caught a broadcast of King Lear. "Oh untimely death..." is one of the lines that pokes out, from Oswald's death scene.

4. "The Milkman of Human Kindness" – Billy Bragg

"Yet do I fear thy nature, it is too full o' th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way," says Lady Macbeth. "I am the milkman of human kindness, I will leave an extra pint," sings the ever-inventive British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.

5. "Get Over It" – The Eagles

Lawyer jokes go back a lot further than contemporary times. In this song about confession culture and victimization, Don Henley nods to Shakespeare with a nickname, then quotes from Dick The Butcher in Henry VI: "Old Billy was right / Let's kill all the lawyers tonight."

6. "Sister Moon" – Sting

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun," Sting sings in this torchy ballad. The phrase is borrowed from Shakespeare's sonnet #130. Sting liked it so much that he even used it for the title of his 1987 solo album, Nothing Like The Sun.

7. "Limelight" – Rush

Rush made one of Shakespeare's most oft-quoted lines (from As You Like It) into a centerpiece of this 1981 song about the difficulty of balancing our private and public selves: "All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players..." Five years before, Rush used the phrase All The World's A Stage for a title of a double live album.

8. "Bye and Bye" – Bob Dylan

Dylan winks at Shakespeare in several songs, from "Highway 61 Revisited" (there's a nod to Twelfth Night) to "Desolation Row" (Romeo and Ophelia are both name checked) to "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" (the striking image of "dragon clouds" is borrowed from Antony and Cleopatra). In "Bye and Bye," the line "I'm not even acquainted with my own desires" is lifted from As You Like It.

9. "Ariel" – October Project

Sung from the perspective of the spirit Ariel in The Tempest, the song is a farewell to his magician master Prospero: "And I want to be free / It is your sorrow / That has made a slave of me."

10. "Sigh No More" – Mumford & Sons

The title comes from Much Ado About Nothing, and many of the lines in this eerie folk song refer to dialogue between Benedict and Beatrice from the play.

11. "Hey There Ophelia" – MC Lars

Even rappers find inspiration in Shakespeare. This fast-paced retelling of Hamlet references the Prince, Claudius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, but centers on the play's tragic heroine. Sample line: "This girl's got more issues than Amy Winehouse."

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Opening Ceremony
These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:


Opening Ceremony

To this:


Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]