Make your own free website on Tripod.com

A Kind of Flattery

Lyrics Based on Shakespeare Sonnet 138

Music by Charles Wolff

Real Audio Clip


Shakespeare's Text

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.

Passionate Pilgrim Version of the Text

Note that this is the sonnet which was included in The Passionate Pilgrim (1599). I felt free to pick and choose whatever suited my purposes. The "Passionate Pilgrim" version reads:

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unskillful in the world's false forgeries.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although I know my years be past the best,
I smiling credit her false speaking tongue:
Outfacing faults in love with love's ill rest.
But wherefore says my love that she is young?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is a soothing tongue,
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I'll lie with love and love with me,
Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be.

Research Notes

My Interpretation

Musical Style Considerations

Lyrical Adaptation

Iambic Pentameter Musical Setting

Adapted Song Lyric

A Kind of Flattery

adaptation and music Copyright 1998 Charles Wolff

When my love swears she's telling me the truth,
I do believe her even though I know she lies;
I let her think me some untutored youth
Who does not see the sparkle in her eyes.

And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.
And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.

Thus vainly do we think ourselves still young,
Although we know our days are past the best;
We simply trust each others' lying tongues;
On both sides, thus, is unkind truth repressed.

And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.
And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.

bridge:
So wherefore says my love that she is young?
And how the hell can I deny I'm getting old?
Love's best habit is a soothing tongue,
And age in love loves not to have age told -

So when my love swears she's telling me the truth,
I do believe her even though I know she lies;
I let her think me some untutored youth
Who does not see the sparkle in her eyes.

And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.
And so I lie with her, and she lies with me,
And in these lies we find a kind of flattery.

Real Audio Clip


Maintained by: Charles Wolff
Last Updated: 4/9/98