1. falsely accused of an adulterous affair with Cassio, and killed by Othello.
  2. "interactive Othello on the web."
  3. totally feathered up and living on the dub side.
One of the first classic heroines to be involved in an inter-racial relationship, during a time when such a thing simply didn't happen.

For my HSC, I had to study Othello. I have to say, I somewhat hated it, although I was slowly learning to enjoy Shakespeare, even if I did not really understand the language.

The we studied Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. And I thought that was pretty cool. I mean, here's a play that has been around for centuries, and someone has come up with a completely out there spin-off. This was no Joanie Loves Chachi.

But what really convinced me that Shakespeare was OK, was this song by Paul Kelly. Here he sings from Othello's perspective, and covers his entire gamut of emotions in a three minute song. The betrayal by Iago, the loss at his own hands of his true love, the regret, the blind rage, etc.
Brilliance! Sheer brilliance.

Its the eleventh song on Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls' album Under the Sun released in 1987 by Mushroom Records. It is probably one of his least known songs, and one of his most touching ballads.

Desdemona

Once I had a love so rare
Beauty lived inside the lair
Desdemona straight and true
Desdemona gold and blue
Well I lost my Desdemona
With my own hands I did destroy her
Yes I lost my Desdemona
I fell for lies, I fell for lies

Poison in my ear at night
Took away my appetite
I couldn't hold on to the pain
Something broke inside my brain
Well I lost my Desdemona
With my own hands I did dethrone her
Yes I lost my Desdemona
I fell for lies, I fell for lies

Never has a man been born
Who can take a woman's scorn
Nor tasted a more bitter wine
Than the brewing of his mind
Well I lost my Desdemona
With my own hands I did destroy her
Yes I lost my Desdemona
I fell for lies, I fell for lies

Permission currently being sought (as of 30 Sept 2003).

A friend of mine took me to Dragon Con 2002 with him, and despite all the geekiness and tomfoolery, I admit I still felt a little out of place. I was just starting to settle into the groove of things when we came upon something that made me laugh out loud and fully appreciate the diversity around me.

It was the second day of the con (which is held over the Labor Day long weekend at the Atlanta Hyatt Hotel) and my friend and I were coming up the escalator after watching a fairly amusing improv comedy routine. As we approached the next level, I could hear the distinct sound of a violin (among other instruments).

When we arrived at the next floor, we saw fifty or so people gathered around one of Dragon Con's many musical performers, a group called The Lost Boys. Dressed in Scottish kilts, they were performing what sounded like a quite remarkable acoustic/unplugged interpretation of Knack's "My Sharona."

The interpretation was whimsical to say the least (I'm not quite sure Knack ever intended for a fiddle to be the primary instrument in their version), but it was exactly the type of boisterous song the group needed to get the relatively large audience on their feet and clapping along.

Only, I soon realized, they weren't playing "My Sharona."

Having two family members in the theatre arts and with undergraduate English literature courses still somewhat fresh in my mind, I soon started picking out pieces of lyrics that went along with...surely not...um, is this song about Othello?

My friend looked at me quizzically. He wasn't familiar with Othello, so lines like "you doin' Cassio, but no mo," just kind of bounced off him. But when I finally heard the chorus ("Duh-duh-duh-Des-duh-mo-na" instead of "Muh-muh-muh-My-Shah-roh-na") I realized that yes, this group had actually written a song about the untimely demise of General Othello's wife.

The more I listened, the more I loved it. Accurate down to the handkerchief he gave her as a gift (which Cassio would later use as evidence of her unfaithfulness to the Moor), the song, "Desdemona," was both intelligent and funny.

The group would later play an acoustic version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird (with the famous/infamous guitar solo performed by their hyper-as-hell violinist Matthew Trautwein) entitled "Ode to an Unfetter'd Fowl." After the performance was over, CDs went on sale and I purchased what was probably my first non-mp3 music purchase in years.

And so, for your Shakespearean age musical enjoyment, I give you, "Desdemona."


"Desdemona"
From the album Rogues in a Nation
Lyrics by Whit Brantley, Dean Patterson, Jr., Myron West, and Matthew Tautwein
Music by Doug Fieger and Berton Averre


Oo my little pretty one, my pretty one,
      when you gonna give me some,
      Desdemona?
From your daddy we did run,
      yeah we did run, but now you're under
      suspicion, Desdemona
O you dirty ho, Iago, he done told me
      you doin' Cassio, but not no mo,

O why did you have to lie, lie, lie...
Desdemona?


I gave you a little gift, a handkerchief,
      but now you got me seeing red,
      Desdemona
Got it runnin' through my head,
      got you in bed, 'cause of somethin'
      Iago said, Desdemona
O you dirty ho, Iago, he done told me
      you doin' Cassio, but not no mo,

O come on, won't you tell me why, why, why...
Desdemona


Oo I got a pillow here, a pillow here,
      gonna put the pillow on your
      head-demona,
Oo I'm gonna smother you, smother you,
      gonna smother you 'till you're
      dead-demona,
O you dirty ho, Iago, he done told me
      you doin' Cassio, but not no mo,

'Cause now you're gonna die, die, die...
Desdemona

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.