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Re:Good King Wenceslas

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  • Melvyn Clarke
    ... who ... Where I come from, all the naughty children would sing: Good King Wences last looked out Eating bad bananas, Where do you think he put the skins?
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 27, 2000
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      --- In Czechlist@egroups.com, Gerald Turner <czechin@i...> wrote:
      > I'm sure I wasn't the only one to think there was a Good King Winsle
      who
      > las' looked out on the feast of Stephen.

      Where I come from, all the naughty children would sing:
      "Good King Wences last looked out
      Eating bad bananas,
      Where do you think he put the skins?
      Down his best pyjamas."

      Re this carol of the
      impossible
      > lyrics, it occurred to me that its melody might have been inspired
      by
      > Velebme vzdy s veselim by Jan Taborsky, which I sung at church on
      Christmas
      > morn for the first time. There are certainly phrases in common
      between the
      > two tunes.

      Which bits are similar? Maybe the following information will help you
      sort this one out:
      >

      >

      In 1853, John Mason Neale chose Wenceslas as the subject for
      a children's song to exemplify
      generosity. It quickly became a Christmas favorite, even
      though its words clearly indicate that
      Wenceslas `looked out' on St. Stephen's Day, the day after
      Christmas. So Good King
      Wenceslas is actually a Boxing Day carol! For a tune, John
      Mason Neale picked up a spring carol, originally
      sung with the Latin text `Tempus adest floridum' or `Spring
      has unwrapped her flowers'. This
      original spring tune was first published in 1582 in a
      collection of Swedish church and school songs.

      Melvyn
      P.S. Martin, your answer certainly makes more sense than that of the
      Guardian reader who wrote in with a detailed analysis of land rights
      in 9th century Bohemia. I think you might just get first prize: the
      transfer of Simon's long-overdue debt to me, to wit, one bag of
      peanuts.

      BTW, Martin, does this in fact mean that far from being an act of
      generosity and kindness on Wencleslas' part, this was in fact an
      obvious case of gross neglect of his broader social responsibilities
      and probably a blatant tax dodge as well?
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