Tuesday, December 4, 2007
According to The New Oxford Book of Carols, the genesis for the carol "Bethlehem Down," composed by Bruce Blunt and Philip Heseltine (aka Peter Warlock), was "somewhat undignified." Blunt describes the collaboration:
In December 1927 we were both extremely hard up, and in the hopes of being able to get suitably drunk at Christmas conceived the idea of collaborating on another carol which should be published in a daily paper. So, walking on a moonlit night between The Plough at Bishop's Sutton and The Anchor at Ropley, I thought of the words of "Bethlehem Down." I sent them off to Philip in London, the carol was completed in a few days and was published (words and music) in the Daily Telegraph on Christmas Eve. We had an immortal carouse on the proceeds and decided to call ourselves "Carols Consolidated."
I suppose I ought to discourse intelligently about this quote, but really I just like it. There are worse things in life than lack of dignity and an immortal carouse.