People clapping and cheering for a song about molestation? Here’s how that happened.
I once had this girlfriend who would bring me as her date to the kind of dinner parties where the homeowner had a piano and at some part of the evening the host and guests would crowd around it while those of us who played the instrument took turns on it.
Most of the night’s repertoire consisted of works written by Chopin, Beethoven and composers of that ilk and then there was me, who that girlfriend introduced as a musician and songwriter.
Now, I’m not the guy you turn to if you want a piece of classical piano banged out, but I do write music and understand live performance enough to have leaned on a particular instrumental piece I wrote for solo piano that was always received favorably in those crowds and they never knew the song told the story of a girl who was molested by her father.
To understand the reasons why I chose this song, you need background.
I wrote it as a means of my own coping while I was the confidante to a woman while she endured the emotional carnage of being solely responsible for visiting in the nursing home and seeing to the care of the man who both fathered and sexually molested her as a child.
I first reason I chose this song for these types of performances partially because it starts simple and sparkly with a melody representative of her birth. Her grandfather was full blooded American Indian and named her Evening Star after the first star to show in the evening sky because she was the first grandchild.
Then the song moves into a verse section representing her innocent daily life as a child before it descends unexpectedly into a darker melody representing the molestation…
…but rises out of that motif back to a slightly more complicated innocence melody that resolves into a three note melody very specifically representing the words, “I love you” before releasing back into a slightly more complicated verse section.
The song continues as expected resolving back into the I love you refrain only to descend unexpectedly again into the molestation motif that this time rises into the finale where the refrain becomes, “I still love you”.
This section isn’t just powerful musically, now the visual kicks into the performance with me having to cross hands across the keyboard to maintain both rhythm and melody all to finish with that first sparkling melody symbolizing hope of what that child was supposed to mean.