Jade was inspired by the novel Jade Peony by Wayson Choy.
I read the novel in 2003 and was deeply moved. I loved many things about the story and what stood out for me was the rich character development and the universality of those character's feelings. It was the first time I had read a novel with the setting of Vancouver the city where I live and also a story with the Chinese Canadian point of view. I found The Jade Peony historically fascinating and felt Wayson Choy transported me back in time. In my song each verse is about each of the 3 sections of the novel. It is difficult if not impossible to condense a novel into a song so I tried to capture the essence and feelings the story evoked in me that mirrored my own life. The chorus is representative of the grandmother in the story and the wise woman in all of us. Symbolically it is that part that gets handed down to the future generations and never dies.The first section is about the little girl and the old man and that deep connection and the sudden loss or abandonment she experiences. The second verse is about longing and being who we really are. The young man struggles with his sexual identity and his forbidden desires. The final verse is about the boy and his neighbour babysitter, their secrets, bonding and the insanity of war and racism and how though young, his eyes and soul are very wise and have seen much pain and sorrow . The boy also follows his intuitive self which I find admirable.