On this page, bits that I cut out of the Ash Grove books for various reasons will finally see the light of virtual day. It always hurts to cut material that I like, even when I know it’s for the best, so I’m glad that my little orphaned snippets can find a home here.
Casting Shadows: “Kiss From a Rose” (mild-ish spoilers)
This exchange between William and Sheila was cut for that most dry and boring of reasons: legalities. If I had quoted as much as I wanted to from “Kiss From a Rose,” I would have needed to seek out the lyrics’ copyright holder and obtain the rights to quote from them, and blah blah lawyer money blah. To avoid the whole problem, I rewrote the part of the scene where William and Sheila argue about Seal’s lyrics… but I really like this exchange better than their discussion of “Barbara Allen,” from the finished book.
One afternoon she dropped by the music room on her way to practice. William had promised to join her, but he was running late working on a project for Joy.
“I’m putting together a CD of music for Joy to think about for her wedding,” he explained. “I’ve just finished a new arrangement of a waltz for their first dance, and I wanted to get it done before she comes by this afternoon. Want to hear it?”
“Sure.” She folded her long legs up on a riser and listened as he strummed the intro on his acoustic guitar. Then she started to laugh.
“‘Kiss From a Rose’? That’s, like, the cheesiest song in the world.”
“I like it,” he said, unruffled. “And it seems perfect for Joy and Tanner.”
“The lyrics. A grave, a rose, and a kiss: it’s the night they met, all in there.”
She looked at him. “There’s no grave in the song.”
“Yeah, there is. ‘I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave.’ It’s like a throwback to ‘Barbara Allen’ and those old folk ballads.”
“It’s not ‘grave,’ it’s ‘gray.’ Like the graying tower in the first line.”
“That makes no sense.”
She was starting to lose her patience. “It’s not supposed to make sense. It’s just a stupid pop song.”
He was a little offended by this. Pop songs were poems, or at least the good ones were—and not highbrow pretentious stuff like in the literary magazines, but poems for everyone. He was on the point of saying so when she added, “Anyway, what does it have to do with Joy and Tanner?”
“Well, you know, that’s what happened that first night,” he said, surprised that she had to ask. “She was taking a rose from Josiah Cavanaugh’s grave, and he found her there and kissed her.”