When Diana, Princess of Wales died August 31, 1997, I was still grieving over the death of my mother, Sharon Lynn Kirtdoll Smith, Mama had died of lung cancer 18 months earlier at the age of 57.
I admired Diana, Princess of Wales. When she died so suddenly, I felt horrible, especially for her 2 sons. As a son still grieving for my own mother, I knew they were experiencing great shock and sense of loss over the sudden loss of their mother. The Princes were young, ages 12 and 15 years old, when their mother died. I knew that losing their mother before adulthood had to be very traumatic.
With a heavy heart I began to write a poem about the Princess.
Next, I remembered a song I had written ten years earlier. The song “Where Did My Money Go? was written in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1987. 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 would record “Diana’s Petals” using the music from “Where Did My Money Go?” but overdubbing my vocals, with Virginia Essary’s vocals. Virginia was the same highly capable singer who sang (I'll Always Miss) My Mother’s Love”, the song I wrote in memory of my mother after she died in 1996. I called John Hall at his home recording studio, and I called Virginia. Both said sure, let’s give it a try.
It was Wednesday, September 3, 1997. The Princess had been dead 3 days and the world was in shock. Funeral plans had been announced. Elton John was writing a special song to sing at the funeral. And in Northport, Alabama, Virginia Essary was recording "Diana's Petals" at John Hall’s Recording Studio. The local news outlet, NBC13 News, was invited. NBC 13 featured a segment on the recording on their 10:00 PM news.
I hope that “Diana’s Petals” will brighten your celebration of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is a lively, upbeat song, not a funeral dirge. Although we are sad that she died, we are very glad that she lived. While mourning her death, "Diana's Petals" celebrates her life.
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