Extracts of Blagg's football blogs as he follows West Ham United and England through the usual series of near disasters.

Featuring links to the Annual Billy Blagg Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs.

Also featuring guest appearances by 'Captain Olympic'.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Day 24 - 'Silent Night / Seven o' Clock News' - Simon & Garfunkel

I've swapped round the Sunday Carol with the intended Christmas Eve song as I think this fits the mood better, although I'm aware that this is going to be nothing more than a curiosity piece for some.

The premise for this is quite simple; Paul and Art sing 'Silent Night' while, in the background, a news report fades in, getting louder until it almost eclipses the song. But it's the news report itself that makes this so fascinating as, dating this track to 1966, we hear of Anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, the trial of Richard Speck (a US serial killer, for those who don't know) and the warning that the National Guard may need to be called out to cope with planned Civil rights marches led by Martin Luther King. The warning from the then Vice-President and later president Richard Nixon that there may have to be an escalation in the war effort is something that seems to echo down the years.

I remember how alien the news bulletin sounded when I first heard this, many Christmases ago. The short snappy staccato delivery was an anathema to a kid living in the UK but now, with the advent of bulletin news on TV and radio, it no longer sounds like something from another world. But still the subject matter fascinates and I'm not sure I've ever yet once followed the 'Silent Night' part of the song.

Plenty of versions on Youtube but many dodgy videos too so I went for this version: Silent Night

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