Welcome to a new column that will showcase creative endeavors undertaken by West Campus faculty and staff members. These original works from our colleagues may be expressed in writing, conveyed in a performance or other artistic mediums.
Neal Phillip’s If Will’d Been Born in Nashville
This month’s showcase features a song written by Neal Richard Phillips, professor, English, who has been a teacher with Valencia College since 2001. Neal performs the song as well on vocals and fiddle, while musician Mario Ticlea plays the guitar.
Neal earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida in 2008 and obtained both a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in secondary education from Duquesne University.
He has studied Shakespeare at both Rollins College and the New Globe Theater in London — those experiences lead to him writing “If Will’d Been Born in Nashville” while on a train to Stratford from London.
“If Will’d Been Born in Nashville”
(Key of D, I believe)
On that train to Stratford, outside London’s eye,
There’s a unique kind of atmosphere that creeps into your mind.
It’s about that London cowboy, Will Shakespeare was his name,
Had the spirit of Dixie soaring through his Bankside British veins.
Ya see Will was a rebel, tried and true, from the brothels to the court.
He wrote about love and tragedy and good folks down on their luck.
Just like we hear those country songs – wife left me and took my heart.
If Will’d seen the hills of Tennessee, he’d given country its start.
If Will’d been born in Nashville, Hamlet would be John Wayne,
Lady Macbeth be workin’ tables, Puck would be a D.J.,
Othello’s songs would go platinum,
Even with Iago on the drums,
If Will’d been born in Nashville, then Shakespeare’d be OK.
See country music’s ‘bout how we live, ole’ Willy saw that well.
He wrote about daughters hatin’ their dads and revenge and lust as well.
He wrote life’s complications, “There’s a failure to communicate.”
‘Bout what we do to get to the top, we’ll lie and aggravate.
The result, we learn, is we’re leary-eyed although we do what you will.
Like a country song, there’s a lesson learned, so let’s take note of ole’ Will.
(Chorus then fiddle or other solos)
In life one sees all’s well that end’s well,
And if not, as you like it.
One day you’ll rule like Julius Caesar,
The next you’re a victim of a sonnet.
If love’s labour’s lost, take it measure for measure,
And consider it ado about nothing.
The theme’s in the title, now ya’ see,
That Will ain’t British – he’s COUNTRY!
(Chorus two times then end)