Performing in the role of Archibald Craven,
singing A Bit of Earth from
The Secret Garden
This is the scene in The Secret Garden where Archie is surprised by his niece Mary’s love of the earth, and of gardens, in the same way that his dear departed wife Lily was. He also seems to understand that what she needs is a family, and home relationship, that he feels so very unequipped to provide her with. Her love of gardens is disturbing to him, because while it makes him remember how much his wife Lily loved the garden, it also reminds him once again, of how Lily is no longer living, and with him. Archibald is a sorrowful man, haunted by his never ending love for Lily, and realization that he can never touch her, talk with her, or be loved by her, as he was when she was alive. He’s bitter about that, and his niece Mary’s presence seems to remind him once again of how much he misses Lily, and is lost without her.
I felt the concluding lines in the song were especially poignant, as he begins to feel happiness for the beauty Mary would enjoy and discover in the gardens, by realizing that the bit of earth that Mary and Lily loved to grow flowers in, is also the bit of earth that represents the loss and separation from the one woman who really loved him. Lily.
“She’ll grow to love the tender roses
Lilies fair, the iris tall
And then in fall, her bit of earth
will freeze, and kill them all
A bit of earth
A bit of earth”
—— A Bit of Earth from The Secret Garden