It’s not hard to find an Americana singer-songwriter who’s influenced by the Hillbilly Shakespeare, Hank Williams, but you might have to dig a little bit deeper to find one who gets his or her inspiration from the Bard himself. Amy Speace’s new record, How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat, is a fine collection of music in which each song was inspired by a different Shakespeare quotation.
This morning, we’re glad to bring you a new video of Speace performing “Bring Me Back My Heart.” Here’s what Speace says about the song:
I wanted to write a song that sat in the same world as a song that Shakespeare references in his play, “Othello.” Desdemona, in the scene right before Othello kills her in a misinformed jealous rage, has this lovely exchange with her mistress Emilia as she’s dressing for bed. She talks of her mother’s maid named Barbary and that Barbary had a song called “Willow;” she says to Emilia “that song will not go from my mind tonight” and then she sings it: “The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree / Sing all a green willow. / Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee / Sing willow, willow, willow.” And as I read, I had this this image of an old woman who’s spent her life waiting in vain for a Great Love who obviously is never coming back to her, yet she hangs on with blind faith to the madness of this love. And how sad and beautiful it all seems. How much I related to that woman and feared her at the same time. How love can make madness mask as loyalty.