Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let's All Write a Canzone!

The Canzone is the first form covered in Ron Padgett's book which left me with some questions as to how I would actually write one of the blasted things.  He states that it is a complex form and a musical form.  He says that they often deal with the subjects of beauty, love, philosophy, or metaphysics.  He tells us that Dante wrote La Vita Nuova, a book about his love for Beatrice, in the style (and includes an example).  He concludes by saying:
"To write a canzone these days, you must find a complicated and challenging form that you think is right for answering questions of love, beauty, and why we exist.  Then set the poem to music, and do it in a sweet new style."
None of which really illustrated to me how to write in this style.  Attempts to learn more online only muddied the waters.

So, I decided to write a love song to my wife, cobbling together bits of recurring songs in our marriage, bits of literature, and our life together...  To the tune of 'Lady of Spain!'

Dulcinea, woman of virtue,
I never will desert you.
I'll see to it nothing will hurt you.
My cara mia, mine!

We really got it together, didn't we?
I'd travel through Hell just to be with thee.
I've married my ideal to be with me.
Your kiss spins my head just like wine.

Your hand on my brow gives me fevers.
I've left all behind just to cleave to her.
I pray I may never grieve her,
My Lady from Hawthorne and Vine!

Perhaps not the most complicated form, but three rhymes are harder than two!  I promise to be more serious in the next one.

As a bonus, here's an all banjo band playing 'El Cumbanchero' and 'Lady of Spain':

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