Singing In My Sleep
Sing It Out blog
Just about everyone is forced to read that well known classic Romeo & Juliet in high school English. Many have also heard references to those famous characters in multiple songs. One song that I’ve heard such an allusion is in the song “Singing in My Sleep” by Semisonic.
Specifically, it is Juliet that is being referred to in this song. The lyrics say, “I’ve been living in your cassette/ it’s the modern equivalent/ singing up to a Capulet/ on a balcony in your mind.” The author of this song, Dan Wilson, guitarist and songwriter of Semisonic, is not the first to make such allusions to the famous tale of Romeo & Juliet. He, like most all others, uses the reference to tell a story of love. This is not quite fully correct depiction.
I think this song by Semisonic, while a good song, is an inaccurate description of the real story of Romeo and Juliet. This song paints a picture of a modern teenage romance, with no tragic twists, which is very different from the real story. The song starts out sounding very similar to the story of Romeo & Juliet, but it pretty much then stops there. It is only similar to the beginning, when Romeo and Juliet are convinced they’ll live happily ever after with their new married-life that isn’t so different from their old unmarried lives. The song says nothing of any real problems, tragedy, or, most importantly, death. A lot of Shakespeare’s tragedy plays are characterized by the quantity of death in them. The song mentions nothing of any of those.
In conclusion, though “Singing In My Sleep,” by Semisonic is a wonderful song, it’s allusion to the famous story of Romeo & Juliet is not a very accurate depiction.