11/01/2005 01:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Come Back to Sorrento

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The Huffington Post is pleased to offer its readers a HuffPost exclusive: free downloads of tracks from songwriter/actress Rebecca Pidgeon's upcoming album Tough On Crime.

Each week leading up to the October 25th release date of the album, a new track will be posted for downloading on Rebecca's blog. A portion of every CD sold will go to support the Katrina relief efforts of the Red Cross.


It was a cold and lonely midwinter's eve, (actually it was February), the wind was howling around the rafters, the weather made one want to vomit, and I, for want of other idleness, was writing a screenplay.

My husband had suggested it to me one day when I was whining about the world passing me by. I laughed bitterly like this; "oh ha ha ha ha ha!" (a weary Greta Garbo). " I cannot write a screenplay Dave, that's not my thing," I explained eloquently.

Cut to; my sitting under the eaves, the wind howling etc.

He had suggested I adapt a book he had just read called, "Come Back to Sorrento", by Dawn Powell, (an extraordinary writer who really only was "discovered" by the public after her death. Gore Vidal was, I believe, largely responsible for this discovery.) It had been published originally under the title, "The Tenth Moon," and was written in 1932.

It is a sad story of a woman and a man. The woman in her youth, has dreams of becoming an opera singer, and actually has real promise. She has the opportunity to study under a great master, but her stern, repressive Grandfather forbids it. The story finds her a lonely housewife somewhere in the Midwest, with two growing daughters and a thwarted ambition, which makes her dreamy and remote.

The man, also, is a failed artist, and is homosexual we surmise. He is a concert pianist, who returns to America after an unsuccessful stint abroad trying to make it as a musician. We find him penniless, and getting the job of the new school music teacher in the small town where our heroine lives. They meet, each recognizing in the other the passion of the artist, and start a friendship bordering on a love affair, in which they create a kind of fantasy world of culture, sophistication and art. This make-believe becomes more and more real for them, against the backdrop of the actual reality of their humdrum existence. They are brought up short at the end by the brutality of real life circumstances, and are forced to face the truth of their lives.

In short, it is a summer picture.

So, with helpful hints from my husband I set about writing the first draft.

In my estimation after the first reading of the completed draft, the characters sounded like very chatty penguins. I could imagine them waddling first hither, and then yon, all "saying things" to each other. "Oh, lets waddle over here, and I will say THIS to you. Come, let us waddle over here now, and it will be your turn to speak. Squawk, squawk, squawk."

My husband took a kinder view and said I had some good stuff there and to cut a bunch of things, and keep working at it, which I did. (more...) And then he got inspired and came on board. I would do a draft, he would do a pass (and make it much, much better) etc, until we ended up with what is actually at this point, if I call on my British self to describe it, quite a good script, and if I call on my American self, "just great!"

We asked a group of wonderful actors, and a wonderful director to sign up to do it, which they did, and now the project is swimming around in potentiality hell. God knows if it will ever get made. We hope so.

While this was happening, I also wrote a song based on the story.

It is called "Come Back to Sorrento", and was recorded at Larry's Santa Monica studio.

Larry plays bass and keyboards, and Scott Amendola plays drums.

Hope you enjoy it.