I chose a song from Kate Walsh this week. Like Sidney, she’s from England, so it seemed suiting. But don’t worry, that’s not the only reason I chose this song.
The lyrics begin, “Haven’t you heard? / I’m stuck on a verse / I’m stuck on a boy / Who fills me with joy.” We discussed in class how Sidney’s Sonnet 1 is the ultimate poem about writer’s block. Well, Walsh sings that she’s “stuck on a verse,” which I take literally since she repeats the first verse at the end of the song. Also, Walsh is “stuck on a boy.” No, Sidney wasn’t stuck on a boy, but he was certainly stuck on Stella. Walsh and Sidney have that in common, but I think it’s arguable that almost every singer has written a song about being stuck on someone before.
Walsh finished the first (and last) verse with, “I knew I was wrong / to jump straight on into / This picture so pretty / But he is so pretty to me.” The first thing that stands out to me is that she thinks a boy is pretty. “Pretty” may not be the most masculine adjective to describe her attraction to a man, but since she describes her love-object as a “boy,” it works. It also makes me think of Sidney and his tendency to constantly bring up Stella’s beauty. I don’t think that it’s ever doubted that Sidney finds Stella beautiful. He says it umpteen times that her beauty is the inspiration for his poems. The second thing that stands out to me is that she knew she was wrong to “jump straight on into the picture.” Now, she might have meant a relationship with whomever she loves, but she could also be referring to writing a song about the “boy.” However, he was just too pretty to not write a song about. Similar to how Astrophil has to write about Stella’s beauty.
Kate then sings, “And he doesn’t know / Just how far I would go / To kiss him / He doesn’t know how I pine.” This reminds me of when Astrophil kisses Stella while she’s asleep, which is a little creepy. Would Kate go this far? I don’t know. Also, just as Kate “pines” for her “boy” so does Astrophil pine for Stella.
In the second verse, she sings, “Just look in his eyes / They’re blue as the skies / A picture so pretty / But he is pretty to me.” She’s focusing on a particular feature — his eyes. Astrophil also refers to Stella’s eyes a lot, comparing them to the moon and the sun. Then there’s the whole “pretty” thing again.
I’ll finish by pointing out the bridge, which sort of acts like a volta in this song. “But I couldn’t tell you / Just how love it takes you / Cause words don’t make / What I make with him.” There’s that “but” here, which is a turning point in the song. She’s writing a song about their love, but the words that she’s singing don’t express the passion of their love. However, I will say that… Sidney probably believed that the words could express the passion between two lovers since a good poet should be able to convey those emotions to his/her readers.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the song! I know I do!