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Peter Pan and Rick James

    I went to Outback today to use up some gift cards I
received for Christmas (thanks Rick!). They were playing the usual 80’s
and 90’s music that always seems to get played in places like that.
Suddenly a song came on that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in a
commercial place. “My House” by the Mary Jane Girls was the song.
Remember them? Probably not, they were the backup, er, girls to Rick
James. I only ever really remember them shaking their things into the
camera, but Rick eventually threw them a bone. I don’t know if they
ever made an entire album, but I own their single (a 45 thank you very
much) with a picture sleeve that would make the both the 80’s hardcore
fan and any fashion maven faint (for different reasons of course).
    I learned something today about a children’s story.
Have you ever wondered where Peter Pan came from? It’s actually pretty
sad, it was written to boy to explain the absence of his older brother
(who had died when he was young). According to the story, all children
are birds before they become babies. Well, Peter escaped through a
window before the mother could catch him and he stayed out in the
parks, playing with the fairies and whatnot. He went back to the island
where all the birds/babies come from and was told by the head crow(!)
that he was no longer a bird, but a baby and so he could not stay on
the island. Peter had been thinking about going back to his mother, he
had seen her several times crying, but apearently was always drawn back
to the freedom of the air. Anyway, he decides to go back only to find
that not only are there now bars on the window, but there is another
boy in his mother’s arms! He can’t get his mother’s attention through
the shuttered and barred window and so he turns away in a combination
of anger and remorse and goes back to the island to live as an
outlaw…
    A couple of things strike me about this. First of
all, what a terrible thing to tell a kid! Can you imagine feeling
responsible for sending your older brother away, never to be seen
again! The other thing that this does to me is give a little more depth
to the charecter of Peter Pan, he never really struck me as a memorable
charecter before. The story we are used to was thought up later on and
made into a play. It dealt with Peter some time later on the island.
The original Peter was actually just a small part in a larger work
entitled “The Little Whie Bird”. If you’re interested in reading about
the Peter Pan you never knew, you can read it here:

http://www.jmbarrie.co.uk/pp_index.html

Click on “Peter Pan in kensington Gardens” and see what happened before the story we all know.

Isaac

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