Friday, May 25, 2012

A Little Night Music

I began my current WIP with the idea that it would be completely unconnected to my Home trilogy, but then my hero wanted to serenade my heroine. Drew’s a very bad singer, but if he has to sing to Briallen to convince her he can be romantic, he’s willing to do so. My problem was that I needed a song from which I could borrow lines. I’m no lawyer, but I’m fairly certain quoting from a published song would violate copyright laws. So I decided to have Drew sing a Max Marshall song. For those who don’t know, Max is the hero of The Long Way Home, my first, still unpublished book, and he’s a successful singer/songwriter. I wrote lyrics for several Max songs when I was working on that book. Now I’m bringing Max, or at least his songs, into my new book.

I was so pleased with the way the serenade scene worked that I used another of Max’s songs in a later scene for the secondary romance. The heroine’s sister realizes she’s fallen in love with a most unlikely man when she hears him singing his daughter to sleep. Sentimentalist that I am, I got a little teary-eyed writing that scene.

Drew sings a stanza and chorus from Max’s “Georgia Belle,” changing the state to suit his purpose.

Drew took a quick swallow from the long neck in his hand and surveyed the scene. Check on the moonlight. Check on the flowers. He hesitated. Make that half a check on the flowers. He wasn’t sure how romantic Bri would find the orange daisies and hot pink carnations, but they were the best he could do at midnight on a Saturday.  Hell, he’d forgotten he needed something to toss at—at the French doors, no windows either. Were windows more romantic than doors? How could a mere man know the answer to that question? He stumbled over a chair as he stepped onto the patio. No need for a rock now, he thought, as light poured through the drapes.  Here goes.

I have found all I was seeking;
I see the answers in your eyes.
You’re the key that I’ve been missing;
you’re my hope now realized.

“Are you drunk?” 

Not exactly the response he was hoping for. “I’m being romantic,” he said.

“Idiot, you’re going to wake up Rica and the kids.” Bri stepped outside the door and took a step toward him.

He grinned at the sight of her. With her hair sticking up in every direction and her long legs bare beneath the tee shirt she wore, she wasn’t any closer to a princess than he was to a courtier. She still took his breath away. He thrust the flowers at her, took a breath, and continued his song.
I’m a rhymer without reason
whose words can never tell
how life was changed one summer season
by my lovely Bama belle.

“Max Marshall would sue you if he heard you mutilating his song.”  

He ignored her.

You are a fever in my blood.
You are the music in my soul.
You are everything that’s good,
and your love has made me whole.

“Drew, hush! I’m serious. You can’t get drunk and come caterwauling around here.”

He lowered his voice on the final lines.
All my words can never tell
how I love you, Bama belle.

She stepped closer, placing her fingers against his lips. “No more,” she whispered, laughter just beneath the surface.

“My silence for a kiss, my lady.” He spoke against her fingers.

“One kiss, idiot,” she said and stepped into his arms.

Thad sings for his young daughter a portion of “Remember,” a song Max wrote for his daughter.

Rica sent a quick prayer that Thad had been able to calm Erin. She paused at the door, her heart catching as she heard Thad singing to his child.

It was just yesterday I held you tight
And drove the scary monsters from your night,
And I was a hero in your sight.
I remember
. . .

“I love you, baby,” he whispered.

Rica felt the tears on her face. This tough guy with his marshmallow heart was still a hero. In Erin’s eyes—and in hers. Now to convince him of that.

So how do you think the lyrics of Max Marshall fit in these scenes? Are you bothered when fictional worlds are integrated in some way? I’m still in the first draft stage, so these scenes may never be stitched into later drafts.


PJ said...

Please don't consign these scenes to the cutting room floor. They're wonderful! I can't tell you how much I want to read your books one day!

Btw, have you ever considered songwriting, Janga? You're good!

irisheyes said...

Wow, Janga. Like PJ, I really can't wait to read these books.

I think Max's lyrics are awesome. Very appropriate to each scene. I kind of figured you'd be good at songwriting since poetry is your forte. What are songs but poems put to music?!

Keep it up, Janga. You'll join the published one of these days.

Janga said...

Thanks, PJ. I hope they will be available some day. Thanks, too, for the compliment on my "songwriting." I wrote poetry before I ever tried fiction, so I had fun writing the lyrics. But I'd be hopeless with the music.

Janga said...

Thanks, Irish. I'm glad you like Max's songs and my scenes. I appreciate your confidence in me.