Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why There is no DOOR on the Cover of A Lotus-Covered Door

During the many years that my Prince courted me, he often tried to lure me with music. A tactic which worked, by the way. From Nat King Cole to Rachmaninoff, the man knew how to get to me. 

Steven went to grad school at the University of Hawaii . During that time, he became very well acquainted with Hawaii’s popular music of the 80s. Thinking Don Ho? Don’t. Of the great Hawaiian music going on at that time, two groups were huge. One was Cecilio and Kapono. The other, The Peter Moon Band. 

He first introduced me to PMB with their classic album, Cane Fire. And on that album is a song called “On a Little Street in Singapore.”  The PMB version is great, but it’s by no means the original.  The song was written by Peter De Rose and Billy Hill. The first recording I know of is in the 1930s by Harry James and this new young singer – some guy named Frank something-or-other. Oh, yeah. Sinatra. 

 The song’s also been covered by Dave Brubeck, Glenn Miller and Manhattan Transfer. But The Peter Moon Band does it best, in my opinion.

 I first had it on cassette. I believe the tape finally gave up from having been rewound and rewound and rewound. Thank goodness for digital media. My iPod doesn’t care how many times in a row I play the song. 

Why do I love it so much? Probably because it tells a story. I couldn’t listen to it without thinking about the story. Who lives on the street in Singapore? How long has it been since he’s seen her? Why? Where has he been? Why has he come back? My writer’s mind couldn’t leave it alone. I started writing, and pretty soon I had the story going. They lyrics of the song were easily weaving their way into the story. “On a little street in Singapore, we meet beside a lotus-covered door...” The stuff that romances are made of.

In my mind, Lila (my heroine) lived in the little house on the little street in Singapore. Robb (my hero) had been gone and had come back for her. I could see him standing in front of the lotus-covered door, flowers trailing all around him, running up the side of the door frame, across the top, back down the other side. It was beautiful! 

There was one problem. 

The lotus only grows in water.

There went my vision of flowers winding their way up one side of the door and down the other. Maybe the lyricist should have gone with Jasmine-covered door. That would work. But lotus it is, and lotus it must be. So I made the door wooden with lotus blossoms carved into the heavy wood. Not the effect I originally planned, but who am I to argue with the source of my inspiration? 

Listen to the song. And when you read the story, see if you can spot snippets of the lyrics. It will be like a treasure hunt, with words as your prize. And isn’t that why we read anyway?

Enjoy the door. And the lotus.
Only 99 cents for Kindle.

No comments: