Way back in December of 2001 I posted my first article on my memories of Orson Welles and Bing Crosby’s version of The Happy Prince, a memory that had ceased to exist until I started thinking about what Christmas meant to me. Apparently, the tradition disappeared along with our 78 rpm recorder, probably when we moved from California to Washington.
At the time I couldn’t find a single version of the song in America, though apparently it was available in England. I’ve searched for the song intermittently since then. This year when I typed Bing Crosby “The Happy Prince” in iTunes I discovered “Timeless Stories” a collection of four stories with the original Bing Crosby version.
I made a resolution to listen to the song at least once a day until Christmas to counter the Black Friday barrage of ads, not to mention the saccharin Hallmark/Pixel Christmas stories I indulge in far too often.
Unfortunately, the story seems just as topical as it did when Oscar Wilde wrote it in 1888. Human nature being what it is, I suppose it is foolish to expect anything else. Still, it motivated me to make another contribution to UNICEF instead of the more traditional environmental causes.