The Plastic Hippo

December 24, 2013

Ring out, wild bells

Filed under: History,Literature,Music,Society — theplastichippo @ 10:10 pm
Tags:
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The larder is bulging with buy one get one free boxes of minced pies and the fridge is packed with poultry and trimmings; the last thing we need is some Middle Eastern, homeless refugee giving birth to yet another scrounging baby.

One day this child might grow up to become some ranting lunatic demanding equality, an end to war, freedom for all and might even suggest that the greed of individuals is less important than the benefit of the many. God forbid that this should come to pass and even more horrific is the thought that this anarchist should reside in Hackney, or Handsworth, or Govan, or Byker, or Moss Side, or Walsall or Westminster. A revolutionary daring to question the rich being rich and the poor being poor should not be something to spoil the adoration of our Christian decency when pushing each other out the way to get to the discounted brandy butter.

To celebrate Christmas, newly appointed Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who later gave us “nature, red in tooth and claw”, wrote this in 1850:

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.”

After 163 years, one might wonder what Tennyson would make of the state of the nation as it stands today and, after 2013 years, what Jesus Christ would make of current world government. “Ring out the narrowing lust of gold” tends to fall on deaf ears when considering the “faithless coldness of the times”. But worry not; our leaders tell us that they are following the teachings of the Son of God and any criticisms of their actions is political spin instigated by the Devil himself. The boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay.

Instead of Slade, or Johnny Mathis or I Wish It Could be Xmas Every Day, have a listen to a lapsed Catholic and hope that our leaders that talk of “Christian values” will soon die and go to Hell. Hey, after all, a hungry homeless baby being born is a great excuse to have a massive roast dinner. So I wish the gang of crooks a Happy Christmas and I pray god it`s their last.

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