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 2010 #8

Miro's Band: Christmas Eve b/w Christmas Morn (Berliner Gram-O-Phone 216042; 1918)

Here's a rarely heard novelty, recorded in Montreal in 1918 by Spanish-born composer and conductor Henri (Enrique) Miro, who worked as musical director for the Berliner Gram-O-Phone and recorded dance tunes with his studio ensemble while devoting his spare time to writing more serious operettas for the stage.

Written by Walter B. Rogers, this two-parter subtitled "Kiddies' Patrol" presents the events of one household's Christmas night and morning with a mix of music, voiceover and sound effects.

Translated from the above advertisement:
"Christmas Eve is truly an authentic record of Christmas; placing the children 'behind the scenes' to some extent. They will hear the bells on the sleigh of the patron saint of children. Many times after Christmas you will be called on to play 'the record of Father Christmas.'"


Lady Jaye said...

Nice find! BTW, the old Berliner/Victor factory in Montreal was converted into a radio museum that's a must-see for radio history fans. The official website is here:

swac said...

Thanks Lady Jaye! I was actually in that building visiting the old recording studio, which was converted into storage space for years until someone noticed the mahogany panels on the wall behind the drywall. It's been turned back into a studio, and it has quite the history...Mme Bolduc, Frank Sinatra, Hank Snow and John Allan Cameron all recorded there.