When I can't figure out what to draw, either a still life or a self-portrait are always available subjects. Lately, roses have been my thing to draw when "I got nuthin!"
So, today I went to Goodwill and found some very, very convincing fake roses. Yellow and orange. I live in Texas, where "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a very familiar song.
The history of the song is quite fascinating. It's been sung by everyone from Gene Autry to Elvis. The lyrics have changed over the years. "Oh, the yellow rose of Texas is the only gal I love, Her eyes are even bluer than Texas skies above... " (as sung by Elvis) or "her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew..." (as sung earlier by Gene Autry).
The earliest song lyrics date from 1853, found in Christy's Plantation Melodies, No. 2. The singer is actually African-American (describing himself as a "darky"), and the girl is "yellow", as in mulatto, i.e. biracial. Today the song is "race neutral," altho, of course, in the United States, if no race is specified, we always assume the person is white.
Perhaps the Yellow Rose in the song refers to the legendary biracial woman Emily West, who, the story goes, was captured by Santa Anna as a "spoil of war" and distracted him from the Battle of San Jacinto. April 21st, 1836. Which battle the Texicans won, thus gaining independence from Mexico for their nation. Probably never happened, but people do like a good story.
On an entirely different note, here in Austin, Texas, we have a strip club called the Yellow Rose, which advertises itself as "the best strip club in Austin." So, what began as a love song, a man singing about the sweet girl he misses so much and longs to see -- becomes an unofficial State song (no one, and I mean no one, knows the lyrics to "Texas, Our Texas") and also becomes the name of a sleazy club where men go to enjoy lap dances with women who despise them. What a strange world!