All my mysteries take their titles from popular songs. My first mysteries are entitled Desolation Row and Rainy Day Women. That’s appropriate since the books take place in the late 1960s. But my third mystery takes place in 1923, and I can hardly use a Bob Dylan song, can I?
How lucky that I found a song popular back then yet still covered today by contemporary artists.
Fiona Apple sings “After You’ve Gone.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH3tvv-qnrI
The song “After You’ve Gone” was penned in 1918, remaining popular throughout the next several decades—especially during the 1920s, which is what I was looking for. Even in the last 30 years many singers have covered it. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Edie Gourmet, and many more. In truth, the song is fantastic. It still holds up.
Copyright laws don’t cover song titles, but the lyrics are. While Dylan’s are still protected, “After You’ve Gone” is no longer under copyright. These from the chorus fit the storyline of my new mystery.
After you’ve gone there’s no denying,
You’ll feel blue, you’ll feel sad,
You’ll miss the bestest pal you’ve ever had.
There’ll come a time, now don’t forget it,
There’ll come a time, when you’ll regret it.
Oh! Babe, think what you’re doing.
You know my love for you will drive me to ruin,
After you’ve gone,
After you’ve gone away, away.
After You’ve Gone (1918)
Music by Turner Layton and lyrics by Henry Creamer
When you read my new mystery, you’ll see how many of my characters are living their lives after someone has gone—someone very near and dear to them. They’ve been left bereft and must learn to carry on without these people. The biggest loss of all kicks off the mystery, of course. But there are others—oh so many others. Just count them all up. You’ll see.
Author Kay Kendall is passionate about historical mysteries.
She lives in Texas with her Canadian husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills.
Visit Kay at her website http://www.austinstarr.com/
or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KayKendallAuthor