I agree that this song, and many on this record, are religous in nature. I think common Christian themes of ressurection, forgiveness, confession, etc. This is one artful band. I want more Flagged zbaze on October 01, But more than half of the lines are pretty much direct quotes from MAAN. So, it makes sense to first know a little about the plot of the play.
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While there are several sub-plots, the primary story follows Benedick and Beatrice. Benedick and Beatrice have known each other for many years. Beatrice: "You always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old. But, they are not just common acquaintances. There are hints of an earlier relationship between them BEATRICE : Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.
They have an obvious attraction to each other that all can see. However, they are constantly jibing and parrying with each other.
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There is a "merry war" between them. Benedick starts the play railing against love: "I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none. It is while Benedick's friends are in the process of tricking him that Balthasar sings his song: Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever, One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never: Then sigh not so, but let them go, And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey nonny, nonny.
His friends leave him to ponder this and he delivers a pretty great Shakespearean monologue with lines like: "Love me!
Why, it must be requited! They are engaged to be married. On the wedding day, Claudio arrives and essentially calls off the wedding, claiming that Hero has been unfaithful This is all a choreographed ruse perpetrated by Don John, the "villain" of the play. But nobody figures this out until later on. Beatrice is heart-broken for her cousin, and angry that Claudio would defame Hero. Benedick attempts to comfort Beatrice and eventually confesses: "I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
As an aside here, that line above is one of the reasons why people are still performing this guy's plays years after he died. Beatrice will hear nothing of it. She is angered that she even needs to ask someone else a man to take care of this for her: "O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace. Benedick challenges Claudio: "You are a villain; I jest not: I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Benedick and Claudio know this. Luckily, the world's dumbest town sheriff Constable Dogberry stumbles upon some of Don John's men bragging about the treachery they performed framing Hero.
Therefore, everyone discovers that Hero was not unfaithful after all. Word of this discovery has not yet reached Benedick and Beatrice.
He meets with Beatrice to confirm that he has challenged Claudio. They have a playful moment where they once again express love for each other. But there is a serious undertone as well Benedick knowing that he will have to deal with Claudio, and Beatrice knowing that her cousin Hero has taken ill from the stress and grief she feels.
This is an incredibly gentle, loving moment. And, it can be thought of as a sort of "emotional climax" for the play. Until now, all of the declarations of love and hate between Beatrice and Benedick were grand statements, sweeping gestures. Here it is simple, basic, perfect And amazingly, the very NEXT line of the play is delivered by a handmaiden who runs in to inform Beatrice and Benedick that: " This is where Benedick says to Claudio "live unbruised" and also "we are friends".
Everyone rails at Benedick the professed bachelor is now getting married. He defends his position as best he can: "In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.
He is given several lengthy monologues on the subject and spends much time debating the nature of love and whether it really has a roll in his life. But, in the end, it is the moment when he says "Serve God, love me, and mend" where he realizes the simplicity of it. Love is impossible to describe. Impossible to understand. Impossible to control. Impossible to ignore.
Love just IS.
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For man is a giddy thing. If you've made it this far, congratulations But hey, it could be worse, you could have been the one writing this instead of reading it! For what it's worth, I'll finish with the lines from the song in CAPS along with some notes where they tie-in with the song. Does not immediately follow "Live unbruised" though. It is part of Benedick's next line. But it is not an apology. It is a song about the unfaithful nature of men.
He sings: The god of love, That sits above, And knows me, and knows me. One of the last lines of the play.follow url
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However, it is, without question, the conclusion that Benedick comes to in the end. And, ultimately, the entire point of the play. Many thanks for posting this and sharing your knowledge and experience of the play. Ying Ying Ng. David Willcocks. Willard A Palmer. Carol Matz. Charles Hanon. Nancy Faber.
THE SONGBOOK: MUMFORD & SONS: SIGH NO MORE.
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