This was the last day in the immediate future Laetitia would begin by walking down Raglan Road toward the Emerald Victorian. Tomorrow, she would start her new adventure in Antarctica. Last night there was a family party at Uncle Milt’s in celebration of her new life event. She and her cousins, Alicia, Bryn, and Luciano, performed Reginald, the Fortunate Rake and Celeste’s Song. These were based on conversations that she had with both of them on Grande Cayman Island (Days 365 and 366). Celeste’s Song is also connected to Laetitia’s visit with her group to the Bordello Museum in Wallace, Idaho (Day 177). She borrowed the tune for Celeste’s Song from A Bird In a Gilded Cage, a sentimental ballad written by Arthur J. Lamb and Harry Von Tilzer in 1900. She liked the old tune and decided to use it for a second set of lyrics that she called Bird in a Guilty Cage. They performed that as well.
Bird in a Guilty Cage was based on Uncle Ralph’s story about his father (her great grandfather), who loved to sing – mostly fragments of old familiar tunes. He could rarely remember all the words so he filled in the memory gaps with silly nonsense. His version of A Bird in a Gilded Cage went, “She’s only a bird in a guilty cage, and her ears they are green and black.” A short time ago, Laetitia wrote Celeste’s song using the same tune, so she made up a song about a female harlequin, a clown often depicted in a multicolored costume with face makeup that might include green and black ears. In Laetitia’s version performed at the party, the lady was hauled in by the police and ended up in jail (guilty cage). She also used the theme in a limerick.
Arrangements had been made with the powers that be at Mind’s Eye Limerick Tours for her temporary sojourn in Antarctica. Since she was a veteran mind traveler, she could and would return to the Emerald Victorian to lead a tour about once per week when she had time off from her duties at the research station. She would also join her cousins from time to time at Uncle Milt’s parties.
As a party song, it’s all the rage
‘Bout the “bird in a guilty cage,”
A maltreated belle
Who’s now mad as Hell
At her beau who brought on this outrage.