"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"The Gardener's Wife": Heart-Rhythms Put to Song

I paced the kitchen and sometimes the wooden planks would creak as I wondered what could be the tune of another song within "The Gardener's Wife" story.

The lullaby within the story with the words and lyrics came so fast to my mind that I half expected the same to happen with the grieving/pleading song.

As there is not a piano in my home, I could not tinker with the keys. Instead, I had to resort to humming, pausing, and determining if that tune was one I wanted to pursue.

My mp3 recorder was in my hand, always at the ready, in case a tune came.

I had the words for the song, which had three verses to be sung at different times in the story. Upon the whiteboard that hung by the refrigerator, I created words that Holly Robison could sing. This way she could harmonize on some lines and also sing different words at the same time I sung others.

Whenever Holly would sing within the story, I imagined that she represented the thoughts of the Gardener's Wife. Whenever I sang, then these were the words the Gardener's Wife sung out loud. I would sing solo the first three lines. Holly would sing a different tune for the first two lines of the chorus and then harmonize with me on the last line.

Below are the verses with Holly's extra parts in parentheses.

Verse 1:
A silent cradle.
A silent room.
A silent home much like a tomb.

Oh when oh when (please tell me when)
Will my wish be (deep in my heart)
In my arms to see.

Verse 2:
A lonely heartache.
A lonely hand.
A lonely baby from another land.

Chorus repeated

Verse 3:
An empty table.
An empty chair.
An empty family that should be there.
Chorus repeated

Finally, after recording a couple tunes for the lyrics, one stuck in my head.

I noticed that this tune was similar to the tune of the lullaby. That made me smile.

In life we have joy and we have sorrow. You cannot have life without one or the other. In this way, the lullaby and the grieving/pleading song complement each other. The lullaby becomes more sweet and the grieving/pleading song becomes more sad. Together, we have a complete person who sings these songs. For this story, it meant the Gardener's Wife.

Even the rhythm of the song had a kind of heartbeat to it with a "thum, tha, tha" and "thum, tha, tha" sound throughout.

I was excited to share this discovery with Holly, especially as I could not sing both parts during the chorus to make sure that the tunes created would work.

Though deep in my heart, I knew.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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