Entropy Music Club

True Funk Soldiers

    A Starfish & Coffee with Cynthia Rose


    Posts : 5499
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 46
    Location : Ireland

    A Starfish & Coffee with Cynthia Rose

    Post by CKJ505 on Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:16 am

    It was 7:45, we were all in line 2 greet the teacher Miss Kathleen 
    First was Kevin, then came Lucy, third in line was me 
    All of us were ordinary compared 2 Cynthia Rose 
    She always stood at the back of the line, a smile beneath her nose 
    Her favorite number was 20 and every single day 
    If U asked her what she had 4 breakfast, this is what she’d say

    Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam
    Butterscotch clouds and a tangerine, a side order of ham 
    If U set your mind free, baby, maybe U’d understand 
    Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

    Cynthia wore the prettiest dress but different color socks
    Sometimes I wondered if the mates were in her lunchbox (Oh ooh oh) 
    Me and Lucy opened it when Cynthia wasn’t around (Oh ooh oh) 
    Lucy cried, I almost died, U know what we found

    Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam 
    Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine and a side order of ham 
    If U set your mind free, baby, maybe U’d understand 
    Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

    Starfish and coffee

    Cynthia had a happy face, just like the one she draws
    On every wall, in every school, but it’s alright, it’s 4 a worthy cause 
    Go on, Cynthia! 
    Keep sayin’…


    (La la la la…)
    Starfish and coffee, love 4 the soul {x2}

    Susannah Melvoin about writing Starfish & Coffee.

    "I remember Minneapolis vividly. The air smells of water and earth and the lakes that spread throughout the city become deserted of people. I loved it and I loved what was to become an extremely beautiful time in my life. I can narrow down one particular day in 1986 that was particularly special: the day I wrote Starfish and Coffee with Prince.

    Sitting around the kitchen table would be Prince, his engineer Susan Rogers, and myself. It was a time Susan and myself spent every day with Prince recording or keeping each other company. Prince and I spent many hours together, either in the studio working or driving around Minneapolis talking to each other and listening to music. We talked about our histories and our secrets, and on a couple of occasions I told him stories of a 12 year-old girl I had known named Cynthia Rose. 

    My sister Wendy and I knew Cynthia intimately because we shared six years together in a classroom, plus a bus ride to school with her. It was on these bus rides that I got to know Cynthia. 

    Cynthia never had much interest outside of her own personal space, so watching her was an unedited version of what was going on her head. I’m certain if Cynthia were in school today, she’d still be as interesting and extraterrestrial as she was back then. I think Cynthia was dropped off from another world. A world filled with extraordinary images. Images only Cynthia knew the meaning behind. 

    Her favorite number for many years was the number 12. I knew this because she’d rock back and forth in her seat asking you if you knew what her favorite number was for the day. It was always a shock to her that anyone knew that her favorite number was 12. I’d say, "I think it’s twelve, right Cynthia?” She was totally amazed and joyous that I had guessed it right. I mean, who'd have guessed it?

    I’d watch how she would ecstatically experience the world. Cynthia would tell you over and over again how amazing and meaningful the number 12 was. I’d ask her "why?" The answer never changed. It was always "because it makes me happy," said as she etched a huge happy face with her finger on the damp foggy bus window. Most of those bus rides Cynthia sat rocking in her seat, gently repeating her favorite number.

    Cynthia would also tell me what she had for breakfast, and every day it was the same: Starfish and PEE PEE! I never understood the combo meal. And frankly nobody else could, either. This seemed like the deal breaker for most kids. More importantly, the kids in our class had no interest in how Cynthia came to get her morning breakfast! I thought it was tender and funny and I listened to her tell me anything she wanted to say, whether it was firmly planted on earth or from her planet of tender-hearted people who love numbers and draw smiley faces on foggy bus windows. 

    Sixth grade was the last year our class was to be together and it was the first bus ride of that year that I noticed something was different about Cynthia. She sat quietly in her seat staring out of the window. When we arrived at school, and as the bus pulled into the lot, Cynthia turned my way, looked me in the eyes and asked me if I wanted to know something special. I couldn’t wait! 

    We stepped outside of the bus and walked a couple of feet when she leaned into me and said, "Do you want to know what my favorite number is!?” I said, "it's twelve, right?" Cynthia’s answer? "It's TWENTY!" Then, in her beautiful martian like way, she smiled into her hands and said, "because it really makes me happy!” And she ran off in her Groucho Marx, Martian kind of way, repeating the number 20. 

    That year turned out to be a very funny year for Cynthia and myself. On one occasion I happened to leave class for a visit to the ladies room. I’m about to walk out of the bathroom when I hear the sound of water splashing and giggling coming from one of the stalls. I somehow had a feeling it was Cynthia Rose, the giggle sounded unattached to a real person. It sounded naive and desperate, almost like the sound of crying into a jacket-muffled and hysterical. 

    So, as I knocked on the stall door I asked if it was Cynthia. More giggles, no answer. I looked under the stall and saw Cynthia’s shoes. Right as I asked her what she doing in there, she threw the stall door open. There she was with a big red apple in between her teeth, soaking wet hair and face. She took a bite of the apple and said, "I’m was bobbing for apples in the toilet. It's so much fun!"

    I was horrified by what she was doing. Cynthia looked at me in what was to be the last time we would have eye to eye contact. She became long-faced and reflective, something I’d never seen from her. Cynthia took my hand as I grabbed as many paper towels as I could gather to dry her off. Without a peep, she looked at my hands as they dried her hands. 

    This is the story about the exceptional Cynthia Rose, who was just one of twenty five kids- Kevin, Christopher, Wendy, Sharon and Susannah just to name a few of us- who spent everyday together for six years. For those six years we started off every day greeting Ms. Kathleen at her classroom door. We’d be in line outside the classroom. She'd open the door, and one by one we would greet her and shake her hand and walk to our seats for just another day at school. And all of us were ordinary. All of us, except for Cynthia Rose. 

    This is a true story I would tell Prince every so often when asked about it. We both agreed that she was worth writing about, this tender- hearted girl. We both wondered if Cynthia Rose was still living and still number drunk, and if it still made her happy. 

    One fall afternoon in Minnesota I was at Prince's kitchen table when he came up the stairs from his studio, sat next to me and asked if I would to tell him the whole story of Cynthia Rose again. A few hours later he asked me if I’d write it down for him. 

    On that afternoon when Prince asked if I’d write down this story, I had no idea what was about to transpire downstairs in his studio. Prince requested that I not go downstairs until he was finished with the track. But just before he went back downstairs, he sat down at the table and said to me “the Pee Pee's gotta go.” Then asked if coffee was doable instead. "Yes, yes, yes. Of course."

    Ten hours later Susan came upstairs to get me. I walked into the studio and Prince was standing at the console with a tired, gentle smile on his face. He said, "Here it is."

    The rest is history. 


    Go on, Cynthia!

    Posts : 178
    Join date : 2011-08-21
    Age : 49
    Location : Wirral, UK

    Re: A Starfish & Coffee with Cynthia Rose

    Post by Brickscratch on Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:56 pm

    Thanks for this insight on the mysterious Cynthia CKJ , I never realized that the song was so steeped in reality !

    One of my favourite performances of this song I found by incidental links Via YouTube...

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

      Current date/time is Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:48 am