Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Singing a happy birthday song to Jane Austen

With today being the 238th birthday of Jane Austen,one of the most brilliant authors that ever took pen to paper, I thought this an occasion worth breaking into song for.

Music is an integral part of Austen's life and work,as she was so fond of playing the pianoforte that she had enough of the popular pieces of the day copied out to fill up her own songbook(which is on display at her Chawton house) and nearly every one of her finished novels has someone being called upon to play and sing for company.

 Indeed,many characters are defined by their musical ability such as Jane Fairfax,whose steady nature is easily perceived in her excellence at the pianoforte along with Georgiana Darcy,another shy miss and the much bolder Marianne Dashwood,whose passionate feelings are just as prominent on the keys as in her words and actions.

 A good way to begin this Regency recital is with a scene from the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility,as Col. Brandon sees Marianne for the first time and is enchanted by her rendition of "Weep you no more sad fountains":

 Next up is Emma,who often envies Jane Fairfax for her skill at the piano as it takes the spotlight off of her time and again.

 In the 1996 version,our Miss Woodhouse gets a chance to shine a bit more brightly as Frank Churchill joins in to offer his voice in song. His words have more than one meaning and one target but Emma is blissfully unaware of that,of course:

 Speaking of Emma, the newest installment of the web series Emma Approved has Harriet Smith singing a little ditty for her Mr. Elton,written by her mentor and accompanied on the ukulele.

 Not the typical instrument selected for an Austen romance but it's as sweet and naturally charming as Harriet herself.

In another meta-Austen performance, Amanda Price is called upon to sing for her supper in Lost In Austen(a scene shamefully not included in the US version) and chooses a very modern tune that manages to fit in well enough with the assembly before her:

When it comes to post-modern music for Jane Austen fare,no list would be complete without Bride and Prejudice. The Bollywood take on P&P has an overwhelming abundance of great songs that reflect the highs and lows of the characters,not to mention some sweet dance moves as well.

For this particular party, a blend of both Hollywood and Bollywood styles is complete in "Take Me to Love",where Lalita and her Darcy celebrate their growing feelings toward one another:

For the final number,let us call upon Mary Bennet. Granted, her voice may not always be in tune but she is most determined to exhibit what musical talents she has and amongst such a bevy of sisters, can you truly blame her?

Even Miss Austen herself would be happy to give Mary her time at the piano so let us all sit back and resist being Mr. Bennet by not pulling her off stage. I hope all of my Austen friends have a wonderful day in celebrating the delights of our favorite authoress and will sing a happy song in her honor:

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