On Earth, Peace and Goodwill to all Men – Charcoal and Inktense in a plain Moleskine Sketchbook

Ruing the commercialism of the season, my thoughts strayed back to my childhood and the magic of Christmas. I recalled the expectant excitement leading up the day, carol singing, school parties, visits from relatives secreting parcels about their persons, ghost stories on the radio (wireless) – in those days there was no television so radio was a great influence on our lives.

I’ve found an old recording of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre. This is from December 23rd 1939. Settle down, turn the lights low and let your imagination transport you elsewhere. Please enjoy and, whatever your beliefs, the compliments of the season and “Peace and Goodwill”.

This is part of the opening chapter of the story narrated by Welles. He was young then but you can hear his sonorous tones already beginning to develop. I complained about commercialism, in my opening paragraph, but in those days, radio broadcasts were sponsored – this was by Campbell’s Soup. Somehow it doesn’t seem out of place adding a certain charm to the broadcast.

“And it came to pass, in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem because he was one of the house of the lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife being great with child. And so it was that while they were there the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn…….”

More Mercury Theatre productions can be found at: