Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Monday ~ The Snowman ~ Raymond Briggs ~ Howard Blake. ( & Tom Lehrer.)

Christmas music for Music Monday of Christmas week ?

I've had Christmas music up to the ears - played in stores, on the car radio, practically every station, TV, commercials......up to the ears!

Here's something a wee bit different, though still Christmas-ish - and wintry. Walking In The Air from the original TV show based on an illustrated book for children, The Snowman, by English author/illustrator/cartoonist Raymond Briggs. In the UK the book was adapted and animated for a 26 minute-long TV film by Dianne Jackson, who, by the way also did animation for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine movie.

This song, Walking in the Air, was written for the film by well-known English composer Howard Blake.

The TV film first aired in the UK in 1982 on Christmas Eve. It has since been released on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic. Some versions have an introduction by David Bowie, others are introduced by the author of the book.

The song Walking In The Air has been recorded by several different boy sopranos. In 1985 a version by by Aled Jones made it to #5 in the British pop charts and launched the singer on a career which now includes presenting a weekly radio show. In the film, though, (as shown here) the song was sung by Peter Auty.

The song and the music suit the "feel" of the story so well that it'd be interesting to look at the natal charts of The Snowman author, and the composer of the song - there could be a blending link.

As it happens, there is!

Raymond Briggs born in London on 18 January 1934

Howard Blake born London 28 October 1938

Venus (planet of the arts) in Briggs' chart is at 23.27 Aquarius, in Blake's chart Jupiter (planet of publishing) is at 22.32 Aquarius - just a degree apart. Blake's song certainly led to a much wider audience for Briggs' story!


Briggs has a Uranus opposition: Uranus 23.35 Aries - Jupiter 22.35 Libra
Blake has a Uranus oppposition too : Uranus 16 Taurus - Mercury 15 Scorpio.
Bearing in mind that Uranus rules Aquarius, where the previous link occurs....well...hmmmm!

There could well have been a Sun/Moon blend too, but without birth times it's not possible to be sure. More than likely Blake has Capricorn Moon matching Briggs' Capricorn Sun. While Briggs quite likely has Moon in Watery Pisces, blending with Blake's Watery Scorpio Sun.

Don't ya just love it "when a plan comes together"? about another Christmas song for those of us feeling "all Christmas-songed-out" at present - this from Tom Lehrer


Gian Paul said...

How true you say Twilight: all those gingles, songs and false trees for an affair called X-Mas (50-60% of total annual turnover for most of businesses). And the puddings, panettones and the rest which every year at the same time create a "wight problem"!

When I was with the boy-scouts in the snowy Swiss mountains, we also had our "Scout X-Mas": very sensible, at least. We would all go by ski at night, 3-4 evenings, depending on snow conditions, to create some traces around the pine trees for roc deer to be able to go about more easily. As they were sleeping under those trees, we would also carry some hay there. The main problem for deer being that if they had their legs opened by the crust of snow and started bleeding, they became pray to the foxes.

So I am lucky to have some memories of a few useful X-masses.

Rossa said...

Aled Jones is about to turn 40 next week! He has just launched his 28th album and finished his most recent tour in snowy Norwich, last night. He has the early morning breakfast slot on BBC Radio 2 on a Sunday morning and next week is doing the daily breakfast show on the same station.

He regularly presents Songs of Praise on BBC1 Sunday nights and has starred in Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars) and made the semi finals if I remember correctly.

An all round nice bloke and still sings Walking in the Air at his concerts.

And thank you for your kind words about my puds. Are you making any for the festive season? What is the tradition in your neck of the woods, T?

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ Yes - that's the "shadow side" of Christmas.
I suppose it's to be expected because there is such a bright side of "goodwill" (or a sincere attempt at such) among families and associates at this time of year.

Nice story about your Scout-Xmas, in what many see as "Santa-land", GP.

We occasionally see a white-tailed deer or two from our kitchen window, but not as often as we'd like. The hunters around here are accurate shots I guess!

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ Oh my goodness! - Aled Jones was in the same category as Charlotte Church for me - embalmed in teenage years. ;-) I did notice that he was presenting a Sunday show on BBC2 though. I often listen to BBC2 shows on the BBC i-player.

No I won't be trying my hand at any clever culinary Christmas stuff, Rossa. We are invited to husband's daughter's home on Christmas Eve for family & friends buffet and presents etc.

As for local traditions, food-wise - at Christmas - nothing specific really, as far as I know. Just general celebration-type food . Thanksgiving with its turkey etc and pumpkin pie is the traditional "big blowout", and it's only a month ago, some people are still getting over that!

On Christmas Day, weather permitting, we shall carry on our fairly newly invented tradition of driving up Mount Scott (about an hour away) and taking a picnic with us, then driving around the Wichita Wildlife Refuge nearby to see how the Buffalo and Longhorn cattle are doing.

All the best to you and your family, Rossa. I shall think of you and your delicious trifle as I munch on a good cheese sandwich atop Mt. Scott. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh I love your new tradition, T!
Marvellous idea, must start one of my own!
The very best to you and Himself!

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Thank you kindly - and we wish you and yours a very Happy and peaceful Christmas too. Hugs.