So, a couple of weeks ago, on my birthday (41, since you ask), the soon to be Mrs. 17 Seconds and I popped into town for a nose round the charity shops. She picked up a CD for 50p that had been free with Mojo magazine which had a number of Christmas cuts on it I had not heard before. One of which was Superchunk’s take on ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales.’
‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ is inspired by Dylan Thomas rather than actually being an adaptation of his work A Child’s Christmas In Wales. Cale has, in fact, recorded a number of Thomas’s poems (see his excellent 1992 live album Fragments Of A Rainy Season for versions of ‘On A Wedding Anniversary,’ ‘ Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed’ and ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’). Cale’s song ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ first appeared on his 1973 album Paris 1919. It’s the opening to a glorious and rather underrated album.
Whilst searching for clips for this piece, I found that erstwhile Cale collaborator Nico had also covered the song; according to the essential read James Young’s Nico: Songs They Never Play On The Radio, Cale and Nico covered this together.
Finally, that Superchunk cover. As far as I can tell it was recorded for the Mojo CD – and doesn’t look like it’s been made commercially available. Enjoy!
OK, the likelihood of stopping Alexandra Burke being Christmas no.1 is alas, something I do not have the power to do, unfortunately, but it looks like Jeff Buckley could have a massive smash, with a song that’s not even physically released.
And yes, it’s a Leonard Cohen song. There is, apparently, a facebook group of people committed to buying the song as performed by Jeff Buckley, so let’s see what people can achieve. BTW anyone know what happened to Brigyn and their fantastic version in Welsh?
And, seeing as he wrote it: Leonard Cohen’s version:
And Rufus Wainwright’s version:
And because I’d feel guilty not including it, and because it was supposedly an influence on the way Jeff Buckley did it, John Cale’s version:
Go and take on X-Factor. Nothing against Alexandra Burke, but because Simon Cowell is nearly as a big a threat to music as the DMCA and the RIAA!