A Christmas poem and jingle from ‘Lord Monckton’

A seasonal message from the Vicar of Bray

⇒ William York http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viw5JXopin0, with some adjustments by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, offers a little Christmas merriment with his new version of the English folk-song The Vicar of Bray, who notoriously switched his religious allegiance with each new monarch. Today’s Vicar of Bray is probably preaching climate at a community college somewhere in upstate New York.

In George Bush Senior’s golden days when climate change no harm meant,
A climatologist was I, and so I gained preferment.
I quickly knew more CO2 might further my promotion:
I wrote computer code to push the global warming notion.

And this is law that I’ll maintain: my forecasts you shall cite, sir,

For, hot or cold or drought or rain, my model’s always right, sir.

When William Clinton took the oath, with climate change in fashion,
And Big Al Gore bestrode the world, Apocalypse his passion,
IPCC provided me with excellent connections:
Who needs to be a Wall Street quant? Do climate change projections.

And this is law…

When nations signed the Protocol to ease our planet’s fever,
The Hill said Nay and I became a bright Green eager beaver.
I got to know an NGO to champion my predictions,
And (never mind what physics says) to swear they were not fictions.

And this is law…

When George Bush Junior took control and challenged our consensus,
And Nature whined that governments must ever recompense us,
Conformist manuscripts alone the editors selected,
And all who swam against the stream they hastily rejected.             

And this is law…

When Barack next stretched forth his hand to stop the oceans rising,
The times had changed: I knew by then that this was not surprising,
So when Solyndra, subsidized by half a billion dollars,
Went bust I switched to Hyperloop from fossil-fuel’d Corollas.

And this is law…

When Trump the Paris pact denied, and shock’d the true-believers,
I did not know whom I should back – the stayers or the leavers.
But batteries, it seemed to me, might offer a solution,
And so I bought a Chevy Volt – my pride and absolution.

And this is law…

The gravy train will trundle on with each Inauguration
And, though the temperature may fall, the code of our creation
Will ever show a warming world: our models shall not falter.
Though we be wrong we’re always right — although the times may alter.

And this is law…

My own e-Christmas card for readers of WattsUpWithThat this year is a recording of my interpretation of Schubert’s Christuswiegenlied der lachenden Engel, the Laughing Angels’ Lullaby, the virtuoso concluding movement of his much-loved Kindersonate in D major. This Christmas toccata quasi chitarra has the reputation of sending insomniac babies (and adults) peacefully to sleep more quickly than any other. Sleep well, and awake rejoicing, for the end of the climate scam is at hand.

In the light of the decision of the druidical director of the Harvard-Smithsonian observatory to send out “Happy Solstice” cards this year, here is a famous seasonal message to one and all drafted by my indefatigable U.S. attorneys (scholars and gentlemen all) from the leading Wall Street partnership of Sue Quick, Wyn Boult, Phil Banks & Hyde Good.

Please accept – with no obligation of any kind, whether oral or written, actual or potential, explicit or implicit – our very best wishes for a non-culture-specific, environmentally-conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, zero-carbon, non-addictive, gender-neutral, politically-correct happy holiday celebration of the winter solstice, within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practice of your choice (with due consideration for the religious or secular persuasions or traditions of others, or for their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all, or for genuine and legitimate differences of opinion as to the timing or significance of the solstice), and a fiscally-successful, personally-fulfilling and medically-uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally-accepted calendar year 2018, but not without due respect for the calendar choices of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped to make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only America in the western or any hemisphere), and without regard to the wishee’s race, creed, color, age, religious faith, choice of computer platform, physical ability or sexual preference or prowess. By accepting this greeting and not entering any defense or other plea with 14 days or such other period as may be applicable as specified in federal or state law, you are accepting the following terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher actually to implement any of the wishes personally or for others. It is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. It is warranted to perform as expected within the parameters for the reasonable application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever shall first have occurred. Warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher. This greeting constitutes the entire wish. It is void where prohibited by law. Should any part of this greeting be held unlawful or otherwise invalid, all remaining parts shall continue to have effect in terms of generally accepted wishing traditions or conventions to the full extent permissible under law.

59 thoughts on “A Christmas poem and jingle from ‘Lord Monckton’

  1. ROTFLMAO. Sir, you have watched far too much Monty Python in your younger years!! Merry Christmas and much cheer to you and yours.

  2. Beautiful music, well performed.
    I hereby tender my acceptance of your wishes, in the spirit in which they were offered.


    • Well Your Lordship; and without the mystery ‘ …. ‘ heading, I have always been a fan of fruit cakes, IMHO the only cakes worth eating, and the epistle that you have served up for us contains enough fruit species to qualify it as sufficiently fruity to satisfy anyone’s palate.

      So I will gracefully accept a small portion for my self, and with luck I may find a sixpence or a thruppenny piece in there before I chomp down hard on it.

      It is indeed my pleasure to hear from you once more before we say ” enjoy the past ” to this years happenings.

      So a Merry Christmas to you Lord M of B, and should you happen on Stonehenge in the next couple of months or so do tell the Druids to have themselves another nice bash in March !


      George E. Smith (G and g too )

      • And I just found your Schubert rendering there (almost hidden edge on). I have the piano; would that I could play it at all, let alone as rendered here.
        Every time I hear a piece of Schubert previously unknown to me, as this was, I find myself musing; what if we had been blessed with anther 30 or 40 years of this genius ?? ( Felix Mendelsohn too)
        Thank you Christopher.


  3. The druidical director of the Harvard-Smithsonian observatory sent out “Happy Solstice” cards. Christmas is a couple of days later, so Merry Christmas to all.

  4. Well done! Now on to the New Year.

    In case the “Snow is a thing of the past” crowd missed this news:

    Puget Sound region (Seattle etc.) has had a “white” Christmas.
    Have look: Photos from KOMO News

    The claim is this is only the 3rd White Christmas [1 inch on the ground] in 100 years. (1926, 2008, 2017)

    • John,
      It is worse than we thought!

      Our grandkids will not know what it is to walk to school (against ‘ski to school’) . . . . . .


      • Auto PS My grandfather Chris did ski to school in Norway- until he broke one ski. Then he had to learn to ski on his remaining ski until his father had time to carve another.

  5. Christopher, that is an absolutely superb setting of the Vicar of Bray and a deligtful parody by you. Knowing how musical you are, couldn’t you tidy up the parody very slightly so that some of the lines scan better and accompany yorself with the same setting on the harpsichord?

    Perhaps Nigel Farage could get it broadcast on his radio programme or Delingpole could get a youtube version on Breitbart!

  6. And a merry Christmas to you, sir, and God bless us, every one!

    May the coming year be as productive as this past one.

  7. Good to hear from you again Christopher and Merry Christmas to you and all wuwt visitors. The Pause Busters and the 2016 El Nino interrupted your series on the dreaded Pause, but it would appear we are heading back to re-establishment of it. Click the pic below for the latest on enso

    • The atmospheric cooling I predicted (4 months in advance) using the Nino34 anomaly has started to materialize in November 2017 – more to follow. This is weather, not climate (I hope). Happy Holidays to all!

  8. Please accept – with no obligation of any kind, whether oral or written, actual or potential, explicit or implicit – our very best wishes … Should any part of this greeting be held unlawful or otherwise invalid, all remaining parts shall continue to have effect in terms of generally accepted wishing traditions or conventions to the full extent permissible under law.

    LOL. His cup runneth over…

  9. Lovely and entertaining, Christopher! I am going to make sure we have a piano at your disposal in Porto and no rental cops to harasses you.


  10. A very Merry Christmas to you, Lord Monckton!
    Along with a terrific and successful New year!

    A quibble:

    “And this is law…”

    Fortunately, it isn’t law; neither natural or unnatural.

    It might be;
    Vice Presidential delusion and funding source,
    First Lady, (allegedly), rant(s),
    or various Presidents’ diktat, order or directive.

    None of which, make “it” law. Fortunately!

    Thank you for the music! Your interpretation of Schubert’s “the Laughing Angels’ Lullaby” brought my house a taste of delightful yet rich and full melody.
    A song, I do not remember hearing before. Thank You!

    May the best and brightest seasonal joys come your way, in abundance!

    • Thanks, my grandfather wished his two daughters could have done this, my mother a fairly good pianist, my aunt a fair singer, but this must be deep stuff. Will pass it on, surely some know it. WUWT as diverse (proper) as it goes. Nice to have this for Christmas.

    • Stunning performance! As an accompanist, I have played for many performances of “O mio babbino caro,” but few I enjoyed more than this one. I hope this young person continues to study and to sing more musical masterpieces. Bravo!

    • My Dutch relative, a music teacher from Rotterdam, told me about this little girl’s performance some time ago. Being a father of two young ladies, one engaged to get married soon, it may not be a surprised that my current classic favourite is Puccini’s ‘o mio babbino caro’, sang by many greats from Maria Callas to Katherine Jenkins.

      I have downloaded high quality version on a usb and often listen to it on my sound system. It helps if you know content but couldn’t find an adequate translation of Italian lyrics.
      O mio babbino caro,
      mi piace, è bello bello,
      vo’andare in Porta Rossa
      a comperar l’anello!
      Si, si, ci voglio andare!
      E se l’amassi indarno,
      andrei sul Ponte Vecchio
      ma per buttarmi in Arno!
      Mi struggo e mi tormento,
      O Dio! Vorrei morir!
      Babbo, pietà, pietà!
      Babbo, pietà, pietà!

      • So what language would you want to translate these Italian Lyrics into so you could enjoy it more ??

        Would you also want to translate Schiller’s “Ode To Freedom” from its original German into something else to sing at the end of Beethoven’s Ninth ??


      • My own recording of Gianni Schicchi is dated 1959 with Victoria de los Angeles singing Lauretta. I’m not a fan of Italian opera; but I make an exception for Puccini’s Turandot.
        That said I have about every Verdi Opera ever recorded, from my Mother’s record collection which I inherited. (all on LPs).
        The EMI HMV recording of GS which I bought myself, was a much lauded recording when it issued in 1959, with Tito Gobbi as GS, and the Rome Opera House Orchestra, where it was recorded.


    • This is the same song Jackie Evancho used in her debut at America’s Got Talent in 2010. Lovely melody, but a depressing scene from the Puccini’s opera “Gianni Schicchi“. The lead Lauretta contemplates throwing herself into the river because her father won’t let her marry her true love.

      Still it’s a very popular song performed by many singers. Here is Jackie at age 10; she’s since gone on to a respectable career.


  11. My compliments your Lordship.
    A Blessed Christmas to you and may your inspiration grow from one degree of glory to another in the New Year.
    PS Is that Seasonal Message to be adjudicated under the Alfred’s Dooms, the Common Law, unalienable Rights endowed by our Creator, the Laughter of the Almighty, the US Constitution, The Rule of Law, Presidential Decree, Democrat Vote, EU Bureaucratese, UN Dictat, the Paris Agreement, or Current Lawfare?

    • The Natural Law is the right one to cite at Christmas, David. For science without morality is nothing, as the global-warming fiasco well demonstrates. The destructiveness of the small handful of malevolent scientists who have placed expediency, wealth and fame before the truth has been very great. One may justifiably describe it as genocide, for millions die every year because these few totalitarian extremists have succeeded in persuading scientifically-illiterate governments to deny the affordable, reliable, base-load coal-fired electricity that would have saved their lives.

  12. Few fellows favor the fickle fan
    Fellating for fortune’s favored
    Forking over the farthings
    For fallacious fop and ‘fotos fiddled.

    Wishing you the compliments of the season, your Lordship.

  13. Could a Copper catch a crooked climate faker?
    Could a copper comprehend ?
    that a crooked climate faker,
    is just an undertaker,
    who undertakes to be your friend.

  14. Merry Christmas and thank you for the laughs Lord M;-)
    and merry xmas to all at WUWT and Anth0ny especially

  15. Your Season’s Greetings reminded me of the agnostic’s prayer by Roger Zelazney in his science fiction book, “Creatures of Light and Darkness”, copyright 1969

    “Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.”

  16. One more Christmas Gift. God Bless!


    Panis angelicus (Latin for “Bread of Angels” or “Angelic Bread”) is the penultimate strophe of the hymn “Sacris solemniis” written by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 7 March 1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi as part of a complete liturgy of the feast, including prayers for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
    Most famously, in 1872 César Franck set this strophe for tenor voice, harp, cello, and organ, and incorporated it into his Messe à trois voix, Op. 12.

    [Source wiki]

    Text of Panis angelicus, with doxology

    Panis angelicus
    fit panis hominum;
    Dat panis cœlicus
    figuris terminum:
    O res mirabilis!
    Manducat Dominum
    Pauper, Pauper,
    servus et humilis.

    Te trina Deitas
    unaque poscimus:
    Sic nos tu visita,
    sicut te colimus;
    Per tuas semitas
    duc nos quo tendimus,
    Ad lucem quam inhabitas.

    May the Bread of Angels
    Become bread for mankind;
    The Bread of Heaven puts
    All foreshadowings to an end;
    Oh, thing miraculous!
    The body of the Lord will nourish
    the poor, the poor,
    the servile, and the humble.

    You God, Three In One,
    we beseech;
    That You visit us,
    As we worship You.
    By Your ways,
    lead us where we are heading,
    to the light that You inhabitest.

  17. Dear Lord Monckton,

    Thanks a lot for the poem, the waiver, and the music. Concerning laughing angels, a certain suspicion grows in my mind, since the lullaby and the sonata is nowhere to be found in the lists of Schubert piano compositions. Perhaps the spirit of Schubert has taken position of your faculties? If so, the Wiegenlied and the performance deserve double admiration and thanks!

    Best wishes from a Norwegian Christmas with torrential rain, no “White Christmas” here,

    Trygve Eklund

    • Well perhaps not too much of a mystery because even a piece as well known as Schubert’s IXth symphony; “The great” in C major, would not have been found in some lists of Schubert compositions, as apparently the publisher it was submitted to, failed to publish it and it almost got burned up in the trash.

      Apparently it is to Johannes Brahms that we owe the discovery and the preservation of the Score of Schubert;s ninth.

      The publisher dismissed the work as “unplayable.” Well in parts it may seem like it’s unplayable, but then musicians do adapt to the tasks composers set for them. Wish I had some of their talent.

      But I can claim to have played without mistake, the Cesar Frank Opus 16 Fantasy in C Major from the six pieces for organ of 1862 on a giant four manual (plus pedals) dual (stereo) pipe organ in Palo Alto California. (couldn’t play it now, that was about 30 years ago.

      G ruminescing !

      • Congratulations to Geoge Smith on driving a full-size organ. Nothing quite like it.

        There was indeed a fire at Schubert’s publishers, Breitkopf und Haertel, which has made a notorious and formidable mess of the lists of Schubert’s works ever since. In particular, the Deutz catalog numbers are all over the shop.

        I have a digitally-remastered copy of a very early recording of the Laughing Angels’ Lullaby (the Italians, beautifully, call it “La Ninna Nanna degli Angeli che Ride”) by the young Alfred Cortot in 1890, when he was just 13. It is slower, mellower, more legato and more meditative than my galloping Lisztian interpretation (seven minutes to my five minutes 45 seconds), and it displays all the delicacy of touch and gentle variation of tempo and dynamic range that are the hallmarks of the master. As far as I can discover, it has not been recorded since – until now. If there is enough interest, I shall ask our kind host to post it up next time I write here. It is long out of copyright.

        I am working on recording the entire Kindersonate, which is known in Scotland as the Bairns’ Sonata. The first movement is a semi-strophic set of six “Ecossaisen im ehemaligen Stil” (Ecossaises in the old style) (i.e., in 3:4 time, for the Ecossaise was the precursor first of the Laendler and then of the waltz). The six dances are usually labeled as “Das Maedchen”, “Der Hirsch”, “Der Bergbach”, “Der Schmied”, “Die Daemmerung” and “Der Mond”. They tell the story of the day of the Annunciation set in a mythical Scottish landscape. The maiden in the Mother of God, and hers is the first dance as she skips out of her cottage to make her way to the village. At the end of her dance, a woodpecker (“der Specht”) takes up her song, but in a much simplified and very beautiful form. The woodpecker’s song, played with a gentle staccato, serves as the chorus between each dance and the next. The second and third dances, the Stag and the Mountain Burn, represent the Holy Spirit and His message to Mary respectively. The fourth dance, the Merry Blacksmith, signifies the message striking home, and the economy of line with which the ringing hammer of the smith is drawn gives one the sound of the smithy at once. During the fifth dance, the Twilight, Mary ponders the message in her heart, and the sleepy woodpecker (previously staccato but now languidly legato) echoes her thoughts. During the fifth dance, for the first time, there is a modulation away from the tonic: a brief and elegant visit to the dominant, for the bairns for whom the Kindersonate was written much prefer harmonic simplicity. Finally, the sixth Ecossaise signifies Mary’s acceptance of the message, as the moon rises and the world sleeps. This remarkable Ecossaise, after a few bars picking up the woodpecker’s sleepy song, consists of a charming interplay between just two notes, the tonic and its leader, over the mellow ostinato that runs through the entire movement.

        The second or slow movement, though short, marks the passage of time between the Annunciation and the Nativity. In this very Celtic meditation, Schubert expands upon the exchange of ideas between the tonic, the dominant and the subdominant that was evident in the sixth Ecossaise. This movement, a little Nocturne, was unquestionably influenced by John Field, the Dublin-born composer who worked chiefly in London and invented the Nocturne.

        But the crowing glory of the Kindersonate is the spectacular third movement, the brilliant toccata quasi chitarra posted here, in which the composer makes the piano sound like a guitar. The piece, which is murderously difficult to play but is well worth the effort, consists entirely of artfully-interleaved arpeggios with the simple melody barely obtruding above them, and is rare in that throughout the piece every chord is broken so that no two notes are ever played simultaneously. Here, all trace of the Celtic is suddenly and deliberately vanished, and we are transported straight to the high-Classical heavens, where the angels are rejoicing at the birth of the Lord of Life. The piece has all the hallmarks of Schubert: in particular, the exposition, development and ingenious re-use of a few simple figures explored thoroughly from every angle. The never-tedious repetitiveness and the absence of minor chords (again, deliberately intended for the ears of children) make this a swiftly sleep-inducing lullaby. It is perhaps the only lullaby in the toccata form. The extended coda is a particular delight. The piece can be played over and over again without any loss of its celestial magic.

        Enjoy it, one and all, for we shall not hear its like again.

    • Please feel free to reuse both the text and the music. I’m sure Mr York will not mind his parody of the original English folk-song reaching a wider audience, and the greeting from my Wall Street lawyers is an expansion of an old idea. Since Schubert has long been merry in Heaven and I assert no performer’s copyright, feel free to circulate the music to anyone who will enjoy it, with a Merry Christmas from me.

      • Thanks a lot for your enlightening us on the history of this sonata. I hope you take it as a compliment that I regarded you as equal to Schubert.

      • Please do keep us posted as your recording effort proceeds, I for one am enough of a gambler to buy a copy of the CD sight unseen; since your wonderful rendition of a sample here is all the evidence I need that it would be a positive addition to my musical collection, and to my enjoyment of Schubert’s works. One of my treasured disks is “Winterreisse” with Dietrich Fischer Diskau, and Gerald Moore at the piano.
        I should get my two manual Electronic organ out of storage, and have it repaired, so I can play it. I had to finger the Cesar Franck fantasy two different ways so I could play it both on my two manuals, and the church four manual. Of course the Franck Cavalle-Koll organ of St Clotilde is three manuals, which is all you really need to play all of his works. I never got through any others, but did learn several Widor Symphony movements.


      • “”””””…..
        Monckton of Brenchley

        December 27, 2017 at 3:28 am

        Congratulations to George Smith on driving a full-size organ. Nothing quite like it …..”””””

        The only thing I could imagine that comes close to matching “driving a full size organ” Would be driving the forward #1 16 inch 50 caliber gun turret of an Iowa Class battleship !

        The one I played is a very fine instrument in a Methodist Church. Not like the great Organs of France, but still wonderful to have played.


  18. the English folk-song The Vicar of Bray, who notoriously switched his religious allegiance with each new monarch.

    Maybe this was he origin of the Bray cycle?

  19. A Winter Solstice Prayer

    The dark shadow of space leans over us. . . . .
    We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred
    also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.
    As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,
    we fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness
    may doom us and our planet to an eternal winter.

    May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,
    hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice
    that spans the world.

    In the heart of every person on this Earth
    burns the spark of luminous goodness;
    in no heart is there total darkness.
    May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,
    by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,
    call forth from one another the light and the love
    that is hidden in every heart.

    From Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim by Edward Hays

  20. Thank you.
    And I join you in celebrating the birth (if even on the wrong day) of the one whose life and death and resurrection and return will finally, in the end, bring an end to this and all the rest of the World’s nonsense.
    But in the meantime, carry on keep cutting at the head of this “Hydra”. 8-)

    • In response to Gunga Din, the Good Book describes God the Father as the “God of Truth”, God the Son as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and God the Holy Spirit as “The Spirit of Truth”. As one of the apocryphal books puts it, “Great is Truth, and mighty above all things.” The truth that manmade warming has been much exaggerated will soon be publicly demonstrated beyond all doubt. Have courage, therefore, and a good New Year to all.

  21. Superbly played Lord Monckton. Season’s greetings and a guid New Year, sir.

    My own favourite piece of Christmas music is “O Holy Night” sung by the incomparable Leontyne Price. I have played this every Christmas day since buying the record in the early 1960s.

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