Eric Sams (1926-2004) was exceptional both as a musicologist, specialising in German lieder, and as a Shakespeare scholar. His fascination with lieder was first inspired by hearing recordings of Hugo Wolf songs in the collection of one of his schoolmasters. He had an exceptional gift for quoting at length the texts of almost of any verse, including the complete works of Shakespeare. He studied modern languages at Cambridge and then joined the Civil Service. He became a highly respected music critic, with a witty and allusive style, reviewing regularly for, among others, the Times Literary Supplement. He wrote several books, and specialized in the relationship between music and language, particularly the text settings of the Romantic song composers.