Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hilaire Belloc singing 'Tarantella'

Click on this link to hear Hilaire Belloc SINGING Tarantella

Of course I wish it were Lord Lucky but, still, how marvellous. I feel as if I have heard the voice for the first time of a beloved member of my family. Belloc and I go back a very long way, since I was 8 and learnt by heart  the Puffin Cautionary Tales (oh Puffin, my only childhood friend) and then devoured my father's copy of the Sonnets and Verse. I love him and Dr Johnson more than anyone I never met and much more than most people I have met. They are I suppose what W.H. Auden and his circle sneered at as 'silent friends' but now this hitherto silent friend has a voice.

I remember that 'Miranda' is not of course a Spanish girl with whom the great Catholic apologist (heaven forbid) shared his flea-ridden bed. It refers to the Duke of Miranda.

This clip is of John Masefield who was also recorded reciting I Must Down to the Sea which unfortunately I cannot find though it is what they play instead of music at the Society of Authors when they put you on hold. 

I like the Georgian poets rather a lot but Masefield does not mean a great deal to me and I have to say that actually in the film clip he looks slightly like a character from Monty Python. I am a (very young) child of the irreverent early 1970s (born 1961).

But what a charmingly quaint period before poets, dons and clergymen were left wing.

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