Monday, April 16, 2007

Dissing Rap Music, Dissing Wordsworth

I love to read fellow blogger Naomi and her Diary from England. She posted recently about Cumbria Tourism’s attempt to appeal to the YouTube generation. Now, as much as I love YouTube, I love the poetry of Brit poet William Wordsworth a whole lot more.

The YouTube production by Cumbria Tourism has bastardized a favorite poem of mine, Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, you know the daffodils poem, with a rap "music" version of the famous poem. I endured the whole rap treatment of the poem delivered by a be-bopping squirrel mascot known as Sam, a.k.a, MC Nuts.

Lovely Lake Ullswater serves as a backdrop to this large annoying rapping rodent.
“The modern re-working manages to stay true to the original sentiment but with some slight variation of the lyrics. As well as making the works of Wordsworth relevant to a new, younger audience, it also shows how modern-day rap and its clever use of wordplay is a distant relative of poetic rhyming verse.”
So says the Web site for the Lake District.

Crap, or as some call it “rap,” has it’s following, and I have actually found a couple of “songs” that worked for this old, white Baby Boomer. I’ll have to show it to Scotty and see what he thinks. I predict this 18 year-old will agree with his mum.

And no, I'm not intentionally becoming a poetry blog. Check in tomorrow for a crazy photo.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: -
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -and gazed -but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.


Marion said...

Well done! I love Wordsworth, as well.

Naomi said...

Great post and thanks for the mention Sheila. I'm sure Wordsworth will be spinning in his grave now when he hears what's happened to his poetry! One of my friends made a good point when she said do we really want some of the younger You Tube generation in the Lake District anyway dropping litter and putting graffitti everywhere! Well I suppose that's a good point. Wordsworth is classic poetry and just doesn't sound the same when sung by a rapping rodent (I love that expression Sheila!). It made me smile! On the other hand it may be a good way to get some school youngsters interested in poetry, who may otherwise find it boring. You could never describe MC Nuts as boring! more larger than life!

Sheila said...

Well, you may have point Naomi. I don't know how to best expose children to poetry and literature. If MC Nuts did the rap at a sports venue I'd be happier. I don't think YouTubers are sitting around at the computer looking for places to visit or vacation. More likely, I suppose, it's their mums and dads. I love the British mum for the American mom.

I remember a program the schools had here a few years ago when one of my sons was in schools that offered free Pizza Hut pizza for reading. I don't know if it made life-long readers, but it seemed to work for the short term.