The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2008 #3

Morcambe & Wise, The Happiest Christmas of All
(HMV 7" single, 1964, POP 1373)

Beloved comics Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were to Christmas in England what Bob Hope was to the holidays in North America, with annual Christmas specials drawing some of the largest audiences in UK television history (in Canada we had Wayne & Shuster, but their chemistry was a little different). The spirit translated to disc as well, with a pair of Christmas singles, and later an LP of songs and sketches taken from the shows.

The Happiest Christmas of All was the flipside of A-Wassailing--I'm still looking for their later Pye single The 12 Days of Christmas b/w Bingle Jells--with a mix of music hall and some snappy repartee typical of Eric, the tall one with the glasses, and Ernie, the one with the short, fat, hairy legs.


Mark said...

Christmas on Moonlight Bay?

swac said...

Close to it, anyway.

BTW...found Bingle Jells (and its flipside) on a British CD, along with some other '60s tunes I've never heard. Should be interesting...

MikeP said...

'Beloved comics Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were to Christmas in England what Bob Hope was to the holidays in North America...' - only a LOT funnier.

Ernie said...

Hey! I don't have short, Fat, hairy legs! :)

swac said...

Hey, no dissing of Ol' Ski Slope Nose! Okay, there was a long, slow, sad decline, but in the '30s, '40s and '50s he was hard to beat.

Miss Sherlock said...

Greetings from Canada,

It would be absolutely wonderful if you could repost this dead link for Morcambe & Wise. Also, do you have the entire album for The Goons that you could post for this Christmas.

swac said...

Hi Miss Sherlock,

Wow, good thing I happened to be re-reading this thread for a friend of mine. I'll double check those links when I get home from vacation. Maybe what I'll do is just post all of the 2008 tracks in one zip file and make it a universal link for all the entries.

Thanks for the heads up!

Miss Sherlock said...

Hi swac: Looking forward to your upload and any other great Christmas tunes you'll share for 2009.

JJ said...

Hi, Swac !!

I was going to ask for a re-up of this one as well but, while reading through the comments posted here, I saw your reply to Miss Sherlock (above) and thought that your idea for a "universal link for all the entries" would provide a much better solution.

Sadly, we're too late for the 2009 holiday season but I'm hoping you'll get a chance to sort it out in time for 2010.

Many thanks, in advance.