Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas special

When Dad sang in church he often had to suddenly drop or rise an octave so that the hymn was within his range. The most notable example of this came in Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn, usually the opening carol at Park on Christmas Day, during which he would turn to wink and/or nod his head at us. I always think of him at carol services.

And now to the main point of this posting ...

If you thought the previous sound clip was timewarp-tastic then wait until you click on this one. The recordings came about as I received a tape recorder for Christmas in 1977 (a second-hand Grundig from Sirrell's second-hand shop on the Oxford Road). I let it run at one or two points during the big day without anyone knowing - and here's what resulted. Editing the surviving clips has been a labour of love (and something of a learning curve). I apologise for leaving in my "mongy" interjection at the start of Act IV but I couldn't be bothered to edit it out:


  1. These are better than the photos - what nostalgia! Some of the highlights:
    - How Beck and Adam's voices are so little changed, yet my voice (squeaky) and Paul's (presumably mid puberty) are unrecognizable.
    - Dad's intermittent humming of When a Child is Born, brought a tear to my eyes
    - What boring conversations Granny / Molly / Dad had
    - Beck's friend "Simba"

    Truly amazed how you managed to keep/find these and then capture them in to a form that can be shared - thank you again. Priceless.

  2. Just played the tape again. As I may have said before I had never remembered that this tape was made and I am amazed at the sound quality of something recorded on a very simple 2nd hand tape recorder using a cheap tape that was stored for over 30 year.

    Fascinating to hear grannies voice again and thought I noticed a hint of a west berkshire accent (rolling her "R"'s quite a lot). I though Paul sounded just like Freddie especially at the start of "act 1".

    I think the tape was all the more interesting as there was no performances just background chatter to a typical family christmas, I assume we were "playing at home" in 1977 and the cousins had come over to us.

  3. Had to listen to this tape again. Odd to hear all my uncles voices and especially love Nonny's first line; "Where's my other ping pong ball?". Another fave is Adam and Paul trying to work the microphone on some recording gadget. Adam: "Let's see if it moves when you speak loudly..." and then Paul's go... "Or REALLY loudly!!". It seems like the end of the loudness topic, but no. You then hear Paul going in a whisper... "Or really softly,"
    Also weird to hear my Mum's voice, which sounds scarily like me. Second favourite recording - after 'Pipsqueak'