I don’t know if you’ve heard, but at present we’re rehearsing for a little old play that I like to call A Midsummer Night’s Dream*. (Get your tickets here!)
Midsummer is a production that’s filled with layers upon layers of shenaniganry. There’s creepy moments (@Oberon and his bloody love juice). There are tender and heartfelt moments. There are some really sad bits, and then there are parts that just so utterly ridiculous, you have to take a minute and wonder if Shakespeare was okay.
This cacophony of hidden depths got me thinking. Over at Three Left Feet, we’re a semi-tuneful bunch. We can often be heard haphazardly wailing to various singles or breaking out into song at inappropriate moments. So, I wondered which songs our version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream reminded people of.
I had a chat with our associate composer, Chris Holloway. (After all, he’s technically the most qualified to answer.) He told me that there were a whole bunch of pieces that helped inspire him write his compositions for Midsummer. He was particularly influenced by late Romantic composers Claude Debussy and Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as a few more contemporary names such as Ludovico Einaudi and Ramin Djawadi.
Apparently composing for Midsummer also gave him an excuse to intently listen to the Game of Thrones soundtrack, which he casually remarked was ‘pretty cool.’ (Stellar praise.) Due to the mystic, outdoor-sy nature of Midsummer, Chris mentions that additionally, there are a few cheeky elements of prog and folk music in there; inspired by Mike Rutherford and Joni Mitchell particularly.
However, when push comes to shove, which songs really remind Chris of Midsummer?
1) The Turtle Dove, Ralph Vaughan Williams
2) The Riddle, Nik Kershaw
3) Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Genesis
4) I’d Give It All for You, Jason Robert Brown
5) Who Wants to Live Forever, Queen
Nice. However, I’m nothing if not thorough. So, in the name of research, I accosted all the various members of our cast and crew to find out their ‘Midsummer Melodies’. Boy do we have an eclectic mix. From Tina Turner to Billie Eilish, from Hozier to Moulin Rouge and so many more. Here are the results!
Adam Keenan or Snug: The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy, and Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader.
Andrew Holt or Bottom: Come Get Your Love by Redbone, and Desire by Years and Years.
Alex George or Moth: Bmbmbm by Black Midi, and War & Love by Sidley Park.
Alex Rose or Theseus: Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Roy Ayers, and Masochist by Pendulum.
Archie Verhoest or Lysander: There is a Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths, and Because the Night by The Smiths.
Bethany Dyke (Movement Director): Local God by Ever Clear, Thinking ‘Bout You by Frank Ocean.
Daisy Whalley or Hippolyta/Foxglove: Freedom ‘90 by George Michael, and Make it Holy by The Staves.
Ella Hughes or Hermia: Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge, and Can’t Smile Without You by Sleeping at Last.
Elspeth Dale (3LF Technical Director & Producer): Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish, and Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap.
Emmanuel Moro or Oberon: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone, and Let's Misbehave by Eartha Kitt.
Frederick Bloy or Demetrius: First Movement of Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz, and You’re So Vain by Carly Simon.
Jacqui Clark or Quince: Simply the Best by Tina Turner, and Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
Jayran Lear or Helena: White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane, and The Very Thought of You by Natalie Cole.
Jess Turton (3LF Associate Photographer & Marketing Assistant): Dream a Little Dream of Me by The Mammas & The Papas, and I Only Have Eyes for You by The Flamingos.
Joe Dodd or Starveling: Hal An Tow by Damh The Bard, and All the Lads in Town by The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Katie Marrin (3LF Business Manager): I Put a Spell on You by Annie Lennox, and Into the Unknown by Panic! At the Disco.
Kyle McKenzie or Puck: Intermission by Blur, and Where is My Mind by Pixies.
Lucy Malaihollo-Sheppard (3LF Marketing Director): Hard Feelings/Loveless by Lorde, and From Eden by Hozier.
Mattie Lefèvre or Titania: I’m Only Sleeping by The Beatles, and Hammer to Fall by Queen.
Patrick Burton or Cobweb/Egeus: Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield, and Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac.
Seb Ellis or Flute: She’s So Lovely by Scouting for Girls, and The Room Where it Happens from Hamilton.
Théo Tomas-Brown (Financial Producer & Videographer): Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons, and You Could Be Happy by Snow Patrol.
Tom Wilson or Snout: Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club, and Istanbul by There Might Be Giants.
There are, as some may say, some absolute tunes in there.
Finally, here are my song choices, alongside a 3LF ‘Midsummer Melodies’ Spotify playlist!
1) Become the Beast, Karliene, for the Witch and Familiars gang.
2) Dreams, The Cranberries, for the Lovers.
3) Washington Square, The Correspondents, for the Mechanicals.
4) Play God, Sam Fender, for the Lancastrians.
*I’ll be honest with you. It wasn’t me that came up with the name. Most people call it that.
**You’ll notice that I have chosen two more songs than most people. That’s because I have authorial control over this blog post. Check it.