The Rag

The lyrics to the “Shakespearean Rag” refer to Shakespearean tragedies and characters that end up dead. The beginning part of the second second half of the song says “it’s different now… play a tune.” In my opinion, the lyrics seem to imply that the rag is an avoidance or distraction considering the cheery command juxtaposed to the various tragedies. I think I feel this way because I read Eliot’s reference to it before. In part two the reference to the rag follows discomforting dialogue. It also follows a reference to The Tempest and more specifically to a song in The Tempest. As we know, Ariel’s song from The Tempest  is not cheerful.


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