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 2012 #12

When a Child Is Born
by Herve Villechaize
from Children of the World: The Time Is Now (Cleveland International/Epic 84699; 1980)

Ecoutez, mes enfants! I've been saving this one for a while, but it's a bit of a jaw-dropper that's best to spring on people unawares, as diminutive thespian Herve Villechaize warbles a song that's become part of children's Christmas pageants everywhere (including at least one of mine in my junior high school days), When a Child Is Born. The track was recorded for The Time Is Now, a benefit LP for the Northern Ohio Children's Performing Music Foundation credited to The Children of the World, with a truly odd grab bag of guests, including Charlie Daniels, Ellen Foley, Andy Williams, Frank Yankovic, Bobby Goldsboro and Doc Severinsen.

The late star of Fantasy Island and sidekick to Christopher Lee's Man With the Golden Gun, Nick Nack, was also known as a generous supporter of causes aimed at helping children, which probably explains his presence on this project. His two contributions, Why? and When a Child Is Born, were also released as a single, with Villechaize performing the A-side on a daytime talk show (possibly Merv Griffin, but I'm not 100 per cent sure). I don't think anyone was too shocked when a recording career failed to take off, although the man most people knew as Tattoo also had a key role in the bizarro Elfman brothers musical Forbidden Zone.


WillyC said...

Jaw dropping is right!

Sock MonKey 1 said...

The first tune for next year's Xmas compilation.