I connected the dots and thought that to “soothe the savage beast” is essentially the same as to “tame” a savage beast.
So then I went to Google to look up the phrase, “music soothes the savage beast,” just to make sure I was on the right track. But I was surprised to learn that that’s not the original quotation. The actual quotation is “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.”
Yes, a savage breast.
This proverb comes from the play “The Mourning Bride,” by William Congreve, an English author of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The phrase was intended to mean that music has the power to enchant even the roughest of people.
In fact, the line that follows the one about soothing a savage breast reads, “to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
So maybe soothing something is not in any way related to taming something.
Damn. Now I’ll have to think of something else to write about for today’s one-word prompt.