Music and Coffee (and Shakespeare!)

A song and a coffee I have enjoyed this week.

This song has been one of my favorite songs for years, but the song was punctuated by something I read this morning in William Shakespeare’s history, King Richard II.

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Here is the passage from the recently decoronated King Richard II:

A king of beasts indeed. If aught but beasts

I had been still a happy king of men.

Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France.

Think I am dead, and that even here thou takest

As from my deathbed thy last living leave.

In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire

With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales

Of woeful ages long ago betid,

And ere thou bid good night, to ‘quite their griefs

Tell thou the lamentable tale of me

And send the hearers weeping to their beds.

For why! the senseless brands will sympathise

The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,

And in compassion weep the fire out,

And some will mourn in ashes, some coal black

For the deposing of a rightful king. (King Richard II, Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 35-50)

 

This reminds me of the first part of the double song by Kendrick Lamar, ‘Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst,’ specifically the third verse. Some may be offended that I am relating Shakespeare to the realm of rap. I cannot control offense. I will only quote the third verse of the song (written from the perspective of Kendrick himself – the other verses are told from different perspectives) and the hook, since the whole song is twelve minutes long. Verses 1 and 2 are extremely important to this next verse. One is told from the perspective of Kendrick’s friend from Compton whose brother died, and who wants Kendrick to “sing” about them. The other verse is from the perspective a prostitute whose sister, also a prostitute, died. She does not want Kendrick to “sing” about them. The following verse is from Kendrick’s perspective about what he is doing as an artist, “singing” the stories of human beings.

Song: Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst

Lyrics:

Sometimes I look in a mirror and ask myself
Am I really scared of passing away
If it’s today I hope I hear a
Cry out from heaven so loud it can water down a demon
With the holy ghost till it drown in the blood of Jesus
I wrote some raps that make sure that my lifeline
Rake in the cent of a reaper, ensuring that my allegiance
With the other side may come soon
And if I’m doomed, may the wound
Help me mother be blessed for many moons
I suffer a lot
And every day the glass mirror get tougher to watch
I tie my stomach in knots
And I’m sure not why I’m infatuated with death
My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats
That can come about
Cause the tongue is mighty powerful
And I can name a list of your favorites that probably vouch
Maybe cause I’m dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death
Really stuck in the scheme of, wondering when I’m a rest
And you’re right, your brother was a brother to me
And your sister’s situation was the one that put me
In a direction to speak of something that’s realer than the TV screen
By any means, wasn’t trying to offend or come between
Her personal life, I was like “it need to be told
Cursing the life of 20 generations after her soul”
Exactly would have happened if I hadn’t continued rappin
Or steady being distracted by money drugs and four
Fives, I count lives all on these songs
Look at the weak and cry, pray one day you’ll be strong
Fighting for your rights, even when you’re wrong
And hope that at least one of you sing about me when I’m gone
Now am I worth it?
Did I put enough work in?

[Hook:]
Promise that you will sing about me
Promise that you will sing about me

I said when the lights shut off
And it’s my turn to settle down
My main concern
Promise that you will sing about me
Promise that you will sing about me

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See the whole song and annotations on Genius.


Coffee: Ethiopia Hambela Buku (Natural)

This is the natural version of another coffee I’ve had, Ethiopia Hambela Buku (washed). The natural might be my favorite coffee, along with the washed version, and the Columbia Las Margaritas Pacamara (another naturally processed coffee).

EthiopiaHambelaBuku

Cup: Strawberry, Coconut Milk, Kiwi, Lime Zest, Cocoa

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