It occurs to me that I haven’t addressed the topic of how this show got it’s name, Sweet Willow.
Well the Willow part could be seen as obvious, but the Sweet? Where did that come from?
Back in the 90’s my wife Mary was working for a Marketing/PR/Branding firm called Parker LePla. One of the things that the firm specialized in was naming.
They very generously offered to name the show for us gratis. I believe Joe LePla himself came up with Sweet Willow. At first the title took a little getting used to, after all there didn’t seem to be much that was sweet about the show. I wasn’t sure if I liked it and my partner Paul wasn’t in any doubt about not liking it. We had a few back-and-forth discussions on the matter and he, maybe just for the sake of keeping the peace (I don’t know, Paul if you read this here’s your chance to chime in) finally stopped objecting to it.
It took me a few years to realize what a great name it is. At first I said yes to the name Sweet Willow chiefly because my wife kept telling me how perfect it was. I wasn’t entirely convinced but felt I could use it as a working title until something better arose. I was quite willing to give it a chance though…,and…,nothing I liked better ever came along. Now that I’ve grown into it, I feel the poignancy between the juxtaposition of Sweet (as in naive, open and generous) with the implied sadness of Willow is exactly correct.
Like duh, why didn’t I get that immediately? Sorry to have doubted.
Now, still on the subject of names, a friend of mine reminded me that the evil swan in Swan Lake is named Odile. Remembering this produced a delightful train of thought that resulted in my musing on the following parallels. In Swan Lake prince Siegfried, like Othello, struggles with the conflicting light and dark sides of his nature (his attraction to the white and black swans). In both shows they are duped into paths of action that result in the death of the women they love. Seen in this context, Odelle’s very name can be viewed as an omen of what’s to come.
I find bouncing ideas around like these a lot of speculative fun. If anyone has something to offer re: this please jump in.