Tag Archives: Ke$ha

I’ve a Bee in My Bonnet for Pop Sonnets

*Pop Sonnets - Eric Didricksen

If William Shakespeare were alive today and writing lyrics to pop anthems, what would they sound like? Thanks to Erik Didricksen‘s Pop Sonnets blog, we now know. Pop Sonnets (popsonnet.tumblr.com) has given the Shakespearean treatment to dozens of tunes from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (“My fate now seal’d, ’tis plain for all to see: The wind’s direction matters not to me”) to Daft Punk and Pharrell’s “Get Lucky” (“While ladies dance away the night for sport / So shall we too, their favor sweet to court”), to the lyrical demands of the Spice Girls, whose “Wannabe,” incorporates much spice-related wordplay:


Hast thou a hunger to hear the plaintive wail of Steve Perry exhorting, cajoling, nay, demanding that all and sundry hold fast to hope? Then thou art most fortunate, for Pop Sonnets doth present a poetic parody of “Don’t Stop Believing” which beginneth in this fashion:

A lonely maiden from a hamlet small—
A boy within a woeful city reared:
They both at midnight left their port of call
T’ward any destination volunteered.

The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated,” Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” and songs by Katy Perry, Beastie Boys, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Green Day, even Britney Spears can be found among the Bard of Avon’s supposed works as channelled through Didricksen. Enjoy this rapturous take on “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars:

Uptown Funk

Pop Sonnets is available as a tumblr blog, but it will also be released in book form on October 6 in the US and Canada, October 8 in the UK. Think what a delectable gift the book would make for thy nearest and dearest!

Before you do depart, O gentle men and ladies fair,
Think not that I’ve no heart and would not leave a treasure rare.
For here before you, friends, I place a gift as bright as gold:
And once you’re read it through, you’ll cry—

“Alas, I’ve been Rickrolled!”

Never Gonna Give You Up

Kesha Deconstructed

Why am I featuring a video by Kesha (formerly styled Ke$ha), the pop star who famously brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels?

She cultivated a wasted party-girl persona when she first made it big, so you could be forgiven for thinking that she’s just a trashy, yodeling Valley Girl, or a rapping, adenoidal lightweight, or that her songs are indeed catchy but too full of drunken, sneering bad-girl behavior to merit much attention.

But don’t underestimate her talent or her power; Kesha has sold over 60 million albums around the world, and she began her music career as a back-up singer and pop song composer in her teens. She earned her first recording contract at 18 after growing up in a Nashville suburb learning about the business from her mother, a country music songwriter. Kesha cowrote every song on her first two albums and has written for other artists including Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears.

For several years I thought of her music as a bit of dumb fun providing bouncy background beats on my car radio when I need a mindless dance club-style lift, and I still see much of her music that way. No harm in that. But then I heard the spare, dark and moody version of her nightclub anthem “Blow” from her “Deconstructed” EP and gained a whole new respect for her.

Kesha usually relies on dirty sass and frequent vocal fry crackles along with a sort of grubby, drunken energy to make her songs stand out. In the deconstructed version of “Blow,” Kesha’s intense, breathy vocals are front and center and backed up by keyboard riffs brimming with tension and delicious dissonance. The song begins with a muffled, distorted piano and the layers of vibrating echo build menacingly behind her anxious, slightly frantic soft vocals. I think it’s a beautiful surprise from a totally unexpected source. Give it a listen.