July 10, 2010

“I never promised you a rose garden…”



THE ORIGIN OF THE FAMOUS LINE:

“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” 
       Hannah Green (pen name of Joanne Greenberg)
       Title of
her 1964 novel, which is the real origin of the saying.
       Of course, it was made even more famous by country singer
Lynn Anderson’s 1970 hit song of the same name. The well-known opening lyrics, written by Joe South, are: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” Greenberg’s novel is a semi-autobiographical account of a her struggle with schizophrenia as a teenager. In an emotional scene in the book, her therapist tells her: “I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice and I never promised you peace or happiness. My help is that so you can be free to fight for all of these things. The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie...and a bore too!”



THE TOUGH JUDGE VERSION:

“Nobody promised them [prison inmates] a rose garden…They have been convicted of crime, and there is nothing in the Constitution which forbids their being penalized as a result of that conviction.”
       William Rehnquist (1924-2005)
       Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 
       From
his written decision against a group of Oregon prison inmates who wanted the state to be forced to reduce prison overcrowding conditions they contended were inhumane and illegal, in the case Atiyeh v. Capps, Feb. 4, 1981.



THE PASSION OF MEL VERSION:

“Apparently Mel Gibson did promise his babymama Oksana Grigorieva a rose garden…But totally not in a good way. In the latest round of the seemingly endless parade of embarrassing tape leaks purporting to capture the Passion of the Christ helmsman in full meltdown mode, a new snippet of conversation has emerged, in which Gibson reportedly threatens to bury Grigorieva in the flower bed of his Malibu, California, mansion.”
       From
a post on the PEACE FM Online site, July 9, 2010 



THE PRESIDENTIAL VERSION:

“I never promised you a rose garden but I guess [Press Secretary] Ron Nessen did. So, I hope you enjoy this new setting and the new format, and I hope I enjoy it, too.”
       President Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006)
       At a
news conference on October 9, 1974
       Ford was joking about his newly announced plan to hold press conferences in the White House Rose Garden. When Ford and other presidents later started using this option during campaign periods to avoid the usual campaign travel grind while still generating news stories and looking presidential, it was dubbed the “Rose Garden Strategy.”



THE BIONIC VERSION:

Col. Steve Austin (actor Lee Majors): “Now wait a minute, Jaime, you're not going out a torpedo tube. Now you felt the sub, it’s gonna be rough out there.” 
Jaime Sommers (actress Lindsay Wagner): “You never promised me a rose garden.”
       The American TV series The Bionic Woman (1976-77)
       In the episode
“Kill Oscar: Part 3” (1976)

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