To Be Or Not To Be

Album: Initial Success (1980)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • Released three years before the Mel Brooks song, this B.A. Robertson composition was produced by Terry Britten. There were no fewer than four releases on the Asylum label in 1980; the UK version was backed by "Language Of Love" and "Hot Shot"; the German version by "Language Of Love" alone.

    The censor also had a hand in it due to Robertson's speculation that William Shakespeare was "queer" - an absurd suggestion though far from an original one. It is also not true that the tragic Hamlet "made it" with his mother, a suggestion that would be better suited to a rap artist! At the beginning of the play, Prince Hamlet returns home to attend his father's funeral only to find his mother had already remarried - to his uncle. It is this Hamlet alludes to as incest. In 1560, the Church of England drew up a "forbidden marriage" list, and it was actually illegal for a woman to marry her husband's brother; this remained the case until the Twentieth Century. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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