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Monday, 18 May 2009

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace...

A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh Pictures, Images and Photos

La Wiki recounts, 'Child actress, Ann Stephens, (1931 - 1966), was just nine years old when she recorded this song during World War II. The poem is taken from A.A. Milne's 1924 collection, "When We Were Very Young". Music by the Beeb's Harold Fraser-Simson'.

Listen to her diction, mes bloggy chums! Comme la Reine - Like the Queen, en effet, 'Plums firmly in the mouth', n'est-ce pas? And yet, still beautiful and poignant and touching...

My favourite aunty - Stella, who died from child-frightening cancers, when I was but thirteen, had this single when I was a nipper, for her much-loved son, David, my beloved cousin, 'My Coz' of Shakespeare and probably Dickens' fame, in fact...

And we played it, and sang it, and loved it, and I was drawn into this innocent-romantic world of Christopher Robin and his beloved Alice... And their trip to Buckingham Palace...

I found it spell-binding...

And I just remembered it, recently, when my mind had turned to our, David's and my, childhoods and our innocence...

And I found it on Youtube a few days ago, and was immediately transported back to my tender youth, when we all thought we were invincible, and that we would live forever, and that the world held untold pleasures and secrets for us, that we needed only to breathe in to experience...

Even my husband, GJ, remembered this tune from his childhood...

And far from today, with t'Internet and its many and multifarious wonders, we had no idea how far the love of this little ditty, based on a poem by AA Milne about his son, and his adventures, had spread...

AA Milne's son was called Christopher Robin, and featured in the Winnie the Pooh tales, now legends... (Father and son had a troubled relationship, it would be fair to say... Perhaps more another day, mes bloggy Piglits...)

So far from death, so distanced from diseasal and devastation, we were all then, non?...

I hope you like hearing it, my loves. It is so very touching...

B u c k i n g h a m P a l a c e

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier's life is terribly hard,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
"One of the sergeants looks after their socks,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King but he never came.
"Well, God take care of him, all the same,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They've great big parties inside the grounds.
"I wouldn't be King for a hundred pounds,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn't the King's.
"He's much too busy a-signing things,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
"Do you think the King knows all about me?"
"Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea,"
Says Alice

Words by AA Milne

Pooh & Postcard in Window Pictures, Images and Photos Christopher Robin was based upon the author A. A. Milne's own son, Christopher Robin Milne. Later Christopher was to say, "It seemed to me almost that my father had got where he was by climbing on my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and left me nothing but empty fame. One of the poems, Vespers, was said by Christopher Milne as, "the one work that has brought me over the years more toe-curling, fist-clenching, lip-biting embarrassment than any other".

An arrangement of one of the poems, Buckingham Palace, was first recorded by Ann Stephens, a United Kingdom actress, popular in the 1950s. She was born in London. In July 1941. She recorded several songs including, "Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace," which often featured on the BBC Light Programme Children's Favourites....

So, for beloved Christophers the world over...

Christopher Robin Coan Pictures, Images and Photos


Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

now that does bring back a lot of memories!!!!

Michelle said...

Says Alice!!

Thank you once again dearest Fhina!!!

Says Michelle!

♥ Braja said...

I love me some Buckingham Palace
And my name is not even Alice
I'd go there today
to play and to play
And I wouldn't be filled with malice

Artist Unplugged said...

How interesting...of course I have never heard it. It's really sad about the real Christopher and his dad...thanks for sharing. Glad you dropped by my site....first blood test indicated my liver enzymes were elevated. Did another and should hear back from that one today!

carma said...

Too bad to find out the real relationship behind the story :-( I have always loved all things Pooh related. BTW, thanks for your always cheerful comments on my blog. You brightened my day yesterday with your wit! I apologize that I'm a little behind on my blog reading...

Protege said...

The internet is amazing, as it brings back so many memories. Every day I surf it in search of things from eras gone by, while I talk to the Irishman. This walk down memory lane is sentimental and amusing to us both.
However much we hate the modern world and how much we think it is light years removed from the simple pleasures in our past, I have to admit that it still is instrumental in reminding us about them.;)
Sorry for this somewhat "off subject " comment.;)

Sink said...

My single favorite A.A. Milne is "Disobedience'.

I actually chanted the refrain as a mantra through both of my labors and deliveries!

Thanks for the wonderful flashback to when my big boys were little.

Pinkerbell said...

TAG - you're it!!... we're playing a game of tag in the blogosphere and I've tagged you. Come see my blog if you're not sure what to do!

p.s. my most treasured possessions are two Winnie the Pooh books which were my Grandfather's - you never grow out of A A Milne!

blognut said...

I love this. I can't listen to it at the moment because I'm at work (GAH!), but I remember it well. :) I had it on an old cassette (what's that?) and I played it for my kids when they were small. They were fans!

Happy Monday, Lady Fhina!


A Woman Of No Importance said...

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers: I am pleased this ditty is so well known, and without the internet, I wouldn't have known that! x

Michelle: And what says Michelle - I shall be over to yours tonight, my pet, please put the kettle on for tea? xox

♥ Braja said...

I love me some Buckingham Palace
And my name is not even Alice
I'd go there today
to play and to play
And I wouldn't be filled with malice

Braja, you are our treasure, I hope you know just how much you are loved! xox

Artist Unplugged: I am glad you liked it, AU, and I'm sorry it might have been obscure if you'd never heard it - I think Petula Clark also covered it, but it may be a very European thing...

As for your little liver, I wish you the very best of luck with the tests, and please keep in touch - You can rely upon me to sympathise and empathise while I am on 'nil by mouth' for the duration, to try to heal mine! Of course I do sneak in cheats, but then I'm only cheating myself really! Take care, sweetie! xox

carma: I know, it is pretty sad - He was able to weave magic with his stories for generations for children and adults, but had no proper relationship with his son - Sadly this was not unusual of the War generations of men... I am always delighted (and usually starved by the sight of all those cheeseballs!), to stop by your blog clever Carma - You are a treasure, truly! x

Protege: I think that is one of the best things about the internet, Z - Bringing us closer together across the world - This amazes me every day... And also the fact that we can so easily carry out trivia research, and discover and uncover so many very interesting things... I am grateful to it every day, and I also like to be nostalgic about the times when we didn't have its wonders :) xox Have a wonderful week talking to that bold Irishman, Z!

Sink: I didn't know this - Sink's favorite A.A. Milne is "Disobedience'. I am off to look it up! And that it saw you through labour, my sweet sinky, is testament to its (and your!) strength and beauty, non?!

Pinkerbell: You cheeky bism! I am coming over now to check it out! I love bits and pieces of challenges - Although it may take me a time to get around to it, I'm afraid... Hope that's okay with you, pinks? And, you are so right, you never grow out of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh and Piglit! x

blognut: I am so pleased that you know this little song, Bloggus - The world is becoming such a smaller place, non, and such things bind us together like wonderful glue... I hope you get to listen at home, and hope you love hearing it once again, and I wish for your memories to be sweet ones, my little sis... I didn't play this to my son, and I no longer know where the single went to after my aunty passed on and my lovely uncle later remarried - But now we have the internet, we can relive those treasured moments, non?!

Love to you, as ever, Fhi xxx

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Lovely!! I have several copies of AA Milne books. 'Now we are six' and 'when we were every young' and 'Poo' of course.. I know all the poems practically by heart, and some of them have tunes too. read and sang them to my little ones...make smy heart skip a beat this post....

are you sure you dont have a french pere and english mother too?

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Saz, I too have the Winnie the Pooh books, and I have begged, borrowed, and occasionally stole, them for my nephews and godchildren too...

One is never too old for Piglit, Pooh and Eeyore, non? And this posting brought back memories of my beloved aunt Stella, too... It was a flicker of a memory, and she was a memorable woman... Sadly, none of my family or their friends spoke any languages, (I think my granda picked up a little Italian during the War, but probably the less said about that, the better!), so although my bent went in that direction, it was all moi, ma belle, and some superb teaching to thank... xxooxx

Comedy Goddess said...

Love the sound of little Ann, too bad the real Christopher Robin was such a bummer!

French Fancy said...

Is that last picture of your son? He's lovely!

Great post, fhina

kapgaf said...

Bonjour ma chère FSI,

Je suis en retard ! Une journée très occupée.

I loved the "Now we are six" poems
When I was one I was just begun
Johnathan Jo has a mouth like an O
Nanny let my beetle out

Like Fat, frumpy and fifty, I still know them by heart. Luckily, I still have the original books from my mother's childhood with the drawings by Ernest Shepard (and not the Disney animation characters which several generations now think are the only drawings, sigh).

And I still play Pooh sticks and oh thank you for this lovely trip down memory lane.

And Alan Coren has done a wonderful Hemingway pastiche of Pooh and Piglet that ends :
"It is snowing" said Piglet.
"That is the way it is with snow" said Pooh.

Bises tout plein

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Comedy Goddess: She was such a little sweetheart, non?! And I think men before and after the Wars sometimes struggled to make peace with their families...

French Fancy: Sadly, FF, Christopher Robin Coan was a missing young man, and I sort of 'adopted' his 'case' in 2007... He reminded me so much of my own child, in so many ways. He was brought home to his family just last month... A very mixed blessing. I wanted to do something in quiet tribute to him, really, FF, and my love of the other Christopher Robin offered the path...

kapgaf: I thought you were billing posters, paying bills, that sort of thing, ma cherie, and you are ici instead! Mais tu est toujours la bienvenue! And thank you for your sweet poetry, tripping from the tongue like pink foil hearts... I love the Ernest Shepard drawings best of all - And have them in the books we have kept and give to family, too... And Alan Coren must be one of my eccentric wonders, non?! He could have me in stitches - Wit does not quite have the same ring without him... Grosses Bises - Can you say that? x

Lola said...

Merci, ma petite eccentrique. I loved this post. I will play the video for my little boy, and I am forwarding you his profound toddler gratitude. Bisous

Gennasus said...

I loved hearing that again, it took me back.

I'm a Pooh fan too and have the books. Must go and play Pooh sticks tomorrow!

lizspin said...

Ca-ristopher Robin. . .

. . .what a perfect little voice!

Derrick said...

Hi Fhina,

I probably never knew more than the first verse of this! Little Anne's voice was perfect for the time and the rhyme. I shall have to try and read 'Vespers' to see what Christopher Robin got so het up about!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Lola, Gennasus, Liz and Derrick - Thank you for your comments and for your love and loyalty for me - You have all picked up the very elements I love about this sweet and evocative little recording - Toddlers, love and Pooh-Sticks, indeed...

Bloggy bisous, mes dahlinks xox

Anonymous said...

How did Ann Stephens die? She died quite young in 1966.

Something I wrote earlier...

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