I first heard “Cornflower Blue” as the opening song on Kate Wolf’s 1983 double album “Give Yourself to Love.” As I listened to the album many times over, “Cornflower Blue” grew on me (no pun intended). I began to appreciate the exquisite beauty in the lyrics and in Kate’s lovely singing voice. I especially like the last verse of the song which goes:
“Cornflower Blue, deeper than the evening sky. Peaceful as a river. Bluer than goodbye. Blue like a diamond, when the light shine true. If love came in colors, I’d choose this one for you.”
Isn’t it, you know, beautiful?
Oftentimes, songs like this one will find their way into my heart and I feel compelled to play them myself. With this song, I had my doubts. The chances were good that I might not pull it off. Learning how to play “Cornflower Blue” like Kate does was like learning how to walk again. The style is completely counterintuitive to what I’m used to, but I’m glad I made the effort. I hope my cover of the song conveys some of the mystery and beauty of the original.
The ocean is calm. It speaks to the pale moon in glittering reflections that please the silent orb.
A giant freighter laden with shipping containers sails through the reflected light, trudging on its way to ports unknown.
All is well until…
A violent storm arrives, unexpected and unannounced.
The sea is perplexed.
The moon remains silent, unemotional, and mysterious.
The storm spews banshee winds and battering rain.
“How dare you disturb my tranquility,” says the sea to the storm.
“You have no governance over me,” says the storm.
“No governance? I am your Lord and Master. You obey me. I do not tolerate insolence. Be gone, and do not return, unless I ask you to.”
The heavens explode with lightning and raucous thunder.
To the sea, the thunder sounds like haughty peals of laughter.
“Renegade! You flaunt the laws of nature.”
In protest, the sea conjures up twenty foot waves.
The furious waves boil, rise, and crash back down to the surface of the sea.
Looking on, the full moon remains aloof, wrapped in shrouds of gray mist.
A wave jerks the massive freighter upwards at a seventy-degree angle. When the wave rolls on, the ship smashes down as if an Olympic weightlifter had dropped it to the floor, thundering, after a six-hundred-pound overhead lift.
“I’m sorry for your troubles,” the sea says to the freighter. It will take me a while to control this storm. Until then, you will have to abandon your cargo if you want to survive.”
“My hull is impregnable. This puny storm is no match for my sturdy strength. I will shake off this weather like a dog shakes off water after a bath.”
“You will drown if you don’t listen,” the sea answers. “I can’t allow this impudent storm to do as it pleases.”
The freighter deigns not to answer. It lumbers along stubbornly, until it is lifted precipitously by another wave, and battered cruelly by howling gusts of wind and driving rain.
“Arrogance. Idiocy. Rebelliousness. Will it ever end?”
“I am the sea. Ageless. Alive since this planet’s birth. And yet, I must suffer fools, it seems, until the end of time, which may come, alas, much sooner than expected.”