MP3 Virginia Essary - Diana's Petals
To commemorate the 10th Anniversary (August 31, 2007) of the sad, sudden, tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, “Diana’s Petals” compares the Princess to a beautiful fresh rose and our fond memories of the Princess to rose petals, saved in a book.
2 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock
When Diana, Princess of Wales died August 31, 1997, it had been 18 months since my mother, Sharon Lynn Kirtdoll Smith, had died of lung cancer at the age of 57. After Mama died, February 9, 1996, I wrote a song about how much I missed her. By Mother’s Day 1996 I had recorded “(I’ll Always Miss) MY MOTHER’S LOVE” on CD. The singer, Virginia Essary, did a beautiful job (she does the background vocals also). Virgina was recommended to me by John Hall, owner of John Hall Studios in Northport, Alabama. John produced the song.
I was still grieving over the death of my mother when Diana, Princess of Wales died. My mother died slowly, over a period of 5 months from the time she was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1995 until she died in February of 1996. I watched lose her strength, become bed ridden, and become a near skeleton. I sat with her all night on her last night, just me, listening to her breathe, watching her chest rise and fall. She was heavily sedated. She didn’t want to die, but she knew she could not go on as sick as she was. I played a tape of gospel songs she had been given. I slept a few minutes here and there. The nurse finally told me to call the family as it neared 5:00 AM. My wife came, stopping to pick up my Grandma, Mama’s mama. My step father, my mother’s husband, came. As Mama’s breathing slowed I watched the woman I had admired all my life. She was slipping away. She gasped, stopped breathing, and then gasped again. She stopped breathing again, and then took what would be her final breath. I had never witnessed another human being die before. This was my Mama. I felt so good to have been with her during her last hours. Just as she had brought me into this world, a kicking screaming crying baby, I had watched her leave, quietly, peacefully. I will always miss her kindness and love, her gentle sweet disposition. The memories are many and they are almost all good.
I grieved alone. No one saw me cry. But I did, often, the first two years after Mama died.
I admired Diana, Princess of Wales. When she died suddenly, I felt horrible, especially for her 2 sons. As a son grieving for my mother, I knew they were experiencing a much greater shock and sense of loss over the loss of their mother, because she was gone so quickly and unexpectedly. And they were young. I was 40 years old when my mother died. I have two sons, ages 22 and 25. They are same ages as Princes Harry and William. I reasoned that losing one’s mother when one is still a child must be very traumatic. And so I began to write a poem about the Princess. I heard the news reports about Diana being the Rose of England, and Queen of hearts, and I wrote about it in a brief poem.
Next, I remembered a song I wrote ten years earlier. The song was titled “Where Did My Money Go? I wrote it in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1987. It went “Broker, Broker, where did my money go? I gambled on the Dow and lost all my dough.” I recorded “Where Did My Money Go?” on analog tape in the basement studio of Ephraim Vasquez in Chicago, Illinois. There were 8 tracks. I sang lead vocal.
As I thought back 10 years to 1987, I decided to try the words of “Diana’s Petals”, as I had named the poem, with the music of “Where Did My Money Go?” I was surprised at how well the two fit. Suddenly, I had an idea. I was going to record “Diana’s Petals” using the 10 year old analog tape with the music from “Where Did My Money Go?” I was going to overdub the vocals, replacing my vocals with – Virginia Essary’s vocals. The same highly capable singer who had sang “My Mother’s Love” would be asked to sing “Diana’s Petals”. I called John Hall at his home recording studio, and I called Virginia. Both said sure, let’s give it a try. So I loaded the big reel of analog tape into the car and took it to John Hall.
It was Wednesday, September 3, 1997. The Princess had been dead 3 days. The world was in shock. Funeral plans were being divulged. Elton John was writing a special song to sing at the funeral. And in Northport, Alabama at John Hall’s Recording Studio a new song was about to be recorded memorializing Diana, Princess of Wales. The local news outlet, NBC13 News, was invited to the studio. We recorded “Diana’s Petals” and NBC 13 featured a segment on the recording on their 10:00 PM news. The old music with the new lyrics was updated on several tracks by John Hall. The drums were re-recorded, as were all the vocals. Strings were added. But the basic underlying music score remained the same.
20 years after that first recording in 1987, and ten years after the recording of “Diana’s Petals”, Diana’s Petals is being re-released. The song did not get any radio air play in 1997 because the sentiment of Radio stations was that Elton John’s song would be the song that memorialized Diana, so Candle in the Wind became the best selling CD single in history.
I hope that “Diana’s Petals” will get a chance to be heard during this time of remembering the Princess. I hope you like it. I hope it enhances the celebration of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
A portion of the proceeds from "Diana''s Petals" will benefit the students of the Public Schools of Perry County, Alabama.
Virginia Essary lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Eulas Kirtdoll writes songs in his spare time. He is a supervisor at a manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is also a school board member in Perry County, Alabama, and the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Marion, Alabama.
Contact Eulas Kirtdoll and Virginia Essary at:
Eulas Kirtdoll Sr. Owner
Route 1 Box 713
Newbern, Alabama 36765