The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, December 21, 2012

angels i have heard on high

Quaffing a coffee in the White Water Centre while browsing through Lynn Picknett's conspiracy theory book about the Turin Shroud.
It's good for a larf.
The seasonal shoppers swirl by.
I am dimly aware, as I wrestle with Miss Picknett's thesis, of what passes for Christmas music among the post Christian corporatists of the Western World playing in the background.
A variety of modern hymns segue into each other.
There's John Lennon's 1973 classic:
"And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Me and Yoko are trying to precipitate
A surrender in South Vietnam
A very merry Christmas
To all who have come
The near and the dear ones
And especially the Viet Cong
A very Merry Christmas
War is over
If you want it
Merry Christmas
War is over
If you want it
We surrender
If Ho Chi Minh wants it
War is over
Take Vietnam
If you want it."
As I sit in the Costa Cafe I realise the lyrics still hold up pretty well.
The song is replaced momentarily with Bob Geldoff's paean to himself.
It goes:
"It's Christmas time
And there's no need to be afraid
Even if you're a communist dictator routinely starving your own people into submission
We're gonna let in light
With free food and drink for your psycho army
And banish shade
Feed the Ethiopian dictatorship
Let them know it's Christmas Time again
Feed the Ethiopian dictatorship
Extend the lifespan of the Ethiopian politbureau by another five years
And in this world of plenty
We should shed a tear or two
Throw your arms around me and Midge Ure
And resurrect our careers
It's Christmas Time.
Buy my records and something called Midge Ure's as well
Feed the dictators
Let them know the world owes them a living
Feed the dictators
Let them dine out while their people starve.
Feed the Mugabes
Let them know it's Christmas Time
Cancel African dictators debts
Give them a new credit line again
Let them buy free jet fighters to bomb their  own people again
Let them source free tanks and howitzers again to unleash on the villages
Throw your arms around failed pop singers
It's Christmas Time."
This song also has dated somewhat better than expected, retaining a surprising contemporary feel, nay a piquancy, in a world where human values can seem all too transitory.
In truth gentle travellers of the internet, I am having trouble retaining my equilibrium as the ghost of John Lennon and the ghost of Bob Geldoff vie to make me throw up.
Finally a real song comes on the speakers.
It is Jonah Louie's immortal Stop The Cavalry.
The salient part of it goes:
"Bubba dubba bum bum
Bubba dubba bum bum
Bubba dum dum dubba dum dubba bum bum."
Sounds vaguely obscene doesn't it.
This is the first thing they've played that I can like without feeling I have to argue with its politics.
It's anti war too of course.
If you read between the bubba dum bums.
Still you can't have everything.
And not a word against the Great Louie.
It is Christmas after all.


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