|Song of Solomon, Sir William Russell-Flint, 1909|
It is not generally realised how much the Old Testament's Song of Solomon pervades modern culture. It contains some of the most beautiful love poetry ever written:
It is important to know that this is just the first chapter and that the 'voice' of the poem switches from person to person. Biblical scholars argue whether or not this was written by Solomon or for him. Here are just a few of the references that have been made:
- Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy's 1985 song Kiss Me quotes directly from the Song of Solomon.
- · Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon was instrumental in her winning a Nobel Prize.
- · Chapter 2, verse 15 (not reproduced here) provided the title for Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play Little Foxes.
- · Also the opening line of Chapter 2 provides the name 'Rose of Sharon' used by Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.
- · Countless number of (mostly obscure) rock groups have taken their names and song titles from Song of Solomon.
- · One of Kate Bush's songs from The Red Shoes is Song of Solomon
- · In his poem When I Hear You Sing, Leonard Cohen refers to the Song of Solomon.
- · Many writers and composers through history have taken inspiration from this work. They include Geoffrey Chaucer, JS Bach and up to Steeleye Span and Neil Diamond (in Holly Holy).
I find it amazing how these ancient lines reach out across the millennia and still have resonance today. Be inspired by this poetry and remember that love is better than hate!