Something for the weekend. One of my favorite Broadway plays is Man of La Mancha, and my favorite song in the play is I, Don Quixote. The above is sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell. Compare and contrast with this version sung by Linda Eder. I can’t recall hearing this song sung by a female singer before, but I think she does a fine job.
Man of La Mancha is of course based loosely on the Don Quixote novel written by Miguel de Cervantes, writer without peer and a veteran of the battle of Lepanto, which Cervantes always took great pride in although his service cost him his left arm.
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade. . .
Cervantes wrote his novel to satirize the chivalric fantasy literature which was then in vogue, but I have always wondered if he was not also satirizing a world in which honor must be left to a madman to defend. Is the joke Don Quixote, or is the joke those reading the book and laughing at Don Quixote?