Staff Playlist: The Book of Will

The cast and crew of The Book of Will and the Lyric staff compiled a Spotify playlist that remind us of the show. Here are some of our favorites!

1. “My Hero” by Foo Fighters

There goes my hero

Watch him as he goes

There goes my hero

He’s ordinary

“This is truly a rag tag group of people who will do anything to honor the legacy of their dear friend (who happens to be William Shakespeare!) and what they pull off is nothing short of heroic. They accomplish a major feat of protecting and ensuring that literature and theater will be preserved and shared for generations to come.” – Heather Darrow, Director of Marketing

Serving as the seventh track on their 1998 album titled The Colour and the Shape, “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters is a tribute to all of the heroes in our lives. These heroes might not even be huge celebrities or folks with a platform, but this song gives gratitude to the ordinary people in our lives that we consider as our heroes. This song conveys that you don’t have to be famous or successful to make a great impact on somebody.

2. “I Was Meant for the Stage” by the Decemberists

From the floorboards to the flies

Here I was fated to reside

And as I take my final bow

Was there ever any doubt?

And as the spotlights fade away

And you’re escorted through the foyer

You will resume your callow ways

But I was meant for the stage

“I Was Meant for the Stage” by the Decemberists serves as the penultimate track to their 2003 album titled Her Majesty the Decemberists. The title of the song really encapsulates the story embedded in the lyrics; the song follows the perspective of one who was meant to perform and pursue his passions, despite what they have been told about the downsides of their profession. Suggested by Executive Director Matt Chapuran, “I Was Meant for the Stage” is a song that perfectly fits within the themes of The Book of Will as a group of unexpected heroes come together to compile Shakespeare’s First Folio, forever changing the worlds of theatre and literature.

3. “Collective Heart” by Happy Rhodes

This collective heart pushes the blood through my veins

Feeding my brain of energy

And this collective heart is rushing life to my hands

From every land come synergy

And I listen to it well, ’cause I put it out

I have some thoughts to sell

Based on love, based on decency

And coming from a source I can’t begin to trace

“The notion that her work belongs not just to her, but to everyone who engages with it, reminds me of Rebecca’s desperate plea to John near the end of act one of The Book of Will.” – Scot Colford, Ralph Crane/Barman/Compositor

Indie singer/songwriter Happy Rhodes recorded the song “Collective Heart” in 1994 as a thank you to her incredibly supportive fanbase. Emitting feelings of love and gratitude, “Collective Heart” encompasses the idea that even in the lowest of lows, one has a community of people they love that they can always turn to for support, and that this “collective heart” is what keeps them going through the rollercoasters of life.

4. “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” by Frank Turner

Yeah, well life is about love, last minutes and lost evenings

About fire in our bellies and furtive little feelings

And the aching amplitudes that set our needles all a-flickering

And help us with remembering that the only thing that’s left to do is live

Yeah, the only thing that’s left to do is live

“It reminds me of the friendship among Will, Condell, Heminges, and Burbage.  Yes, they eventually became the renowned King’s Men, but they started out as a bunch of friends with a crazy idea about starting a theatre company.” – Alex Smith, Assistant Director

“I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” serves as the first track on Frank Turner’s 2009 album titled Love Ire & Song. Turner uses the main character of T.S. Eliot’s poem titled The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock for the song’s muse. Prufrock is someone who reminisces about lost opportunities that came his way as he grew older, and Turner uses Prufrock’s character as a way to convey the idea of seizing the day and living life to its fullest potential, despite its little failures.

5. “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce

But there never seems to be enough time

To do the things you want to do, once you find them

I’ve looked around enough to know

That you’re the one I want to go through time with

“To me, this song really captures the feeling of realizing that time will run out. The Book of Will left me thinking about all of the people, places and things in my life I should be appreciating more.” – Elizabeth Carsley, Box Office & Front of House Manager

Serving as the eighth track in his 1972 album titled You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce laments about how time is short, and expresses the wish to save and relive the memories of every day. This song connects to The Book of Will in the way that though these group of heroes try to compile the First Folio, they will always remember the contributions of their friend Shakespeare and aims to commemorate his legacy in theatre and literature.

6. “Love Live” by Taylor Swift

Long live the walls we crashed through

All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you

I was screaming, “Long live all the magic we made

And bring on all the pretenders

One day, we will be remembered”

“‘Long Live’ by Taylor Swift has always been part of my playlists whenever wrapping up a theatre production, because of how it celebrates performance and teamwork and creating something together that will last—including memories.” – Jonathan Santoro, Dramaturg

Landing as the final track on her 2010 album Speak Now, “Love Live” by Taylor Swift perfectly captures the song’s sentiments and meaning in the title alone. “Long Live” is dedicated to Swift’s band and fans that made the flourishing of her career possible, and the song also allows Swift to look back at the fondest memories of her career. The Book of Will has that same sentiment, especially given the idea of a group of people putting together the most influential book of theatre.

7. “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie

It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about

Watching some good friends screaming, “Let me out!”

Pray tomorrow gets me higher

Pressure on people, people on streets

Suggested by Matt Ryan (Understudy for Marcus/Ralph Crane/Ed Knight/et al), “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie comments on how the hustle and bustle of modern society can make ourselves crumble. Bowie and Freddie Mercury sing about how there is a climate of pressure and a sense of high expectations that is instilled within people in society, which may lead people to believe that immense pressure can bring success over time.

8. “With A Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles

What do I do when my love is away?

Does it worry you to be alone?

How do I feel by the end of the day?

Are you sad because you’re on your own?

No, I get by with a little help from my friends

“The King’s Men have such a strong spirit of friendship that lifts them through the hardships in life, including the loss of loved ones. Their love for each other, and those who have passed, is central to their work in creating the first folio.” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

“With A Little Help From My Friends” serves as the second track to the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Featuring lead vocals from drummer Ringo Starr, “With A Little Help From My Friends” is as heartfelt and truthful as the title sounds: no matter what happens in your life and no matter what obstacles you may face, you can always count on your friends to be there for you.