Should I compare thee to a summer’s day?

William Shakespeare was called ‘The honey-tongued bard of Avon’ for a good reason. Aside from his plays, Good Will was renowned for his sonnets, which he wrote throughout his illustrious career, mostly for a private readership, and, as incredible as his plays have proven to be – it is through the ‘sugered sonnets’ that he was able to, as Wordsworth put it, “unlock his heart.”

Not surprising then, that the lead singer of a twentieth century musical act called Native, a singer who had trod the stage himself at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, would turn to the Bard for inspiration.

Mat Hutt was really on a roll at this point in the band’s trajectory. By himself, or in collaboration with John Wood, he’d already written enough strong songs in the preceding year to fill an album, but the music was flowing out of him with such regularity that when the decision was made to invoke Shakespeare’s sonnets as lyrics, much time was afforded in carefully choosing the lines that would be quoted or paraphrased in this newest masterpiece.

The line in today’s title is from Sonnet 18, but careful examination shows that today’s featured tune culled lines from all around Mr. William’s canon. Long hours around the kitchen table were spent poring over the sonnets, plucking a line here or there and fitting them in place, like jewels in an ornate piece of jewelry.

As it took shape, Mike Jaimes contributed mightily to the construct, with more than a small influence on the utltra-rocking middle section. With the addition of the rhythm section and the Elizabethan stylings of John Watts, the song was a complete epic, soaring and majestic.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in his time, but Native edited together fragments from those works, and invested them with such grace and furore that a seemingly new one was born. Which is why we called it —

155

Cornbread Wednesday

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