Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas...

Christmas songs, below, from two remarkable singers:

The first recording is of a 1944 radio performance by Judy Garland, singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  The song is from the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis, which starred Ms. Garland (and in which she, famously, sang the song).


The second recording is of Nat King Cole, singing  "The Christmas Song" (often referred to as--and often subtitled--"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"). Mr. Cole released multiple recordings of the song, over time.  The version below was made in 1953; the orchestra, for this recording, was conducted by Nelson Riddle.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dylan Thomas

There are a lot of books in the apartment that I haven't read. One I've been meaning to read for years is Dylan Thomas's Quite Early One Morning.  As the back cover notes, the book contains short stories, autobiographical sketches and essays. Some poems also appear, within some of the prose pieces. Thomas died in 1953; the book was published by New Directions in 1954.

I picked up the book tonight, from a stack of books in the bedroom.  The first piece is titled "Reminiscences of Childhood," and is dated 1943 and 1953.  I was taken by the first sentence:

"I like very much people telling me about their childhood, but they'll have to be quick or else I'll be telling them about mine."

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor anniversary, and George H. W. Bush

Today, of course, is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  In addition to remembering, and commemorating, what took place at Pearl Harbor in 1941, the anniversary can also, one thinks, provide an additional reminder of the World War Two military service, and heroism, of President Bush, whose funeral services took place this week. Mr. Bush was seventeen years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked; he enlisted in the Navy six months later, on his eighteenth birthday.