Monday, December 10, 2007

Nadolig Llawen

You can read on the internet that this song 'is based on the short story by Dylan Thomas' but I can't see a connection beyond the use of the title, and perhaps a similar stream-of-seasonal-consciousness in the rhythm of its words; in fact, the Cale song doesn't mention Christmas at all, but does Halloween - which with the mistletoe and 'candle green' and 'murdered oranges' seems to evoke a kind of impressionistic paganism, if anything. Anyway, I've absolutely loved it ever since Stevie my small Welsh friend slapped in on a tape for me twentysomething years ago, and I hope you will too.

John Cale - 'A Child's Christmas In Wales' (1973)

Cale's work outside of the VU is always interesting, sometimes very strange and frequently glorious and I'd heartily recommend more to you; this song's album is a good place to start.

These Northern hemisphere dark nights and short days, these firelit evenings, make me long for a good bedtime story. Perhaps like me you'll tuck up with this tonight. As my (honorary) Auntie Haulwen would have said - 'Nos da'.

'A Child's Christmas In Wales' (part 1) - read by Dylan Thomas (1952)
'A Child's Christmas In Wales' (part 2) - read by Dylan Thomas (1952)


  1. mmm...nice! But if I'm honest I'm really only leaving this message to see if your still up and on line. I haven't left a message since Baccara. I've been away from the bloggysphere for a mere five days and I had withdrawal symptoms.

  2. sweet - i've got all keen on the listening to stories since the fab jarvcasts. oh and the radio 4 sherlock holmeses that i got the set of off of ebay and will be popping up as xmas treats round mine .

  3. I take it the Welsh means 'Happy Christmas'? not one of my languages, I'm afraid.
    What a novel idea to have poetry spoken word mp3s! think I'll give that a try.
    Lastly but not leastly...thanks for linking IWICBCE, I've just seen that, brought a lump to my eye and a tear to my throat. Or something.

  4. Tragically, as you will have realised dear Michael, I was not here last night at that hour, but tucked up instead with the Night Nurse - and sadly, not the Gregory Isaacs kind either...

    Sherlock from Dusty Sevens? Ooh, that'll be good. Mulled wine and a roaring log fire to accompany it methinks.

    Steve - the link and lump? Compliments of the season dear boy.

  5. By the way I'd really like to know if anyone's gone to bed with Dylan Thomas, as it were...