Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lark Rise to Candleford#4

I think it was Juliet, over on the Muddy Island, who described LR to C according to Bill Gallagher as Sunday Slump material. It isn't a faithful adaptation of the Flora Thompson books, it isn't a realistic portrayal of rural life in nineteenth century England, it isn't a satisfying drama but it does fill that slot after tea on Sunday when all one wants is a bit of undemanding television. It is as whimsical as Finian's Rainbow and tonight we had the equivalent of Petula Clark singing 'How are things in Glocca Morra?' when Twister and Queenie sang 'Silver threads among the gold'.

Eben E. Rexford, 1848-1916

Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away;
But, my darling, you will be, will be,
Always young and fair to me,
Yes, my darling, you will be,
Always young and fair to me.

When your hair is silver white,
And your cheeks no longer bright,
With the roses of the May;
I will kiss your lips and say-
Oh! my darling, mine alone, alone,
You have never older grown,
Yes, my darling, mine alone,
You have never older grown.

Love can never more grow old,
Locks may lose their brown and gold,
Cheeks may fade and hollow grow,
But the hearts that love will know
Never, never, winter's frost and chill:
Summer warmth is in them still-
Never winter's frost and chill,
Summer warmth is in them still.

Love is always young and fair,-
What to us is silver hair,
Faded cheeks or steps grown slow,
To the heart that beats below?
Since I kissed you, mine alone, alone,
You have never older grown-
Since I kissed you, mine alone,
You have never older grown.

Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away.

I look forward to slumping on the sofa on Sundays but I'm not sure that I can sustain the strain of all this syrup, sepia and saccharine.


  1. Hah! Looks as though you were posting this at exactly the same time that I was having my own whinge about it over on the MI. I am firmly resolved to waste no further time or blog space talking about this very silly programme (which is not, unfortunately, quite the same as saying that I'm resolved never, ever, to slump in front of it of a Sunday night . . .)

  2. Bizarrely, I have just noticed that my hit-rate is sky high this morning, and all as a result of people Googling "Lark Rise to Candleford poem The Definition of Love". It obviously struck a chord with lots of viewers.

    Are people madly Googling "Silver Threads" as well?

    Maybe I shall hurriedly review my 'firm resolve' and keep on posting nonsense about LRTC after all - it's clearly good for my ratings. And, as we all know, ratings are everything!!

  3. Well, as I've just told Mrs Muddy Island, I managed to have Lark Rise on with the sound turned down because I was busy playlisting and was too lazy to reach for the remote control and either switch off or find something more gripping. And therefore managed to miss what was probably the only half-way worthwhile thing in the whole series (apart from the excellent Julia Sawalha) - the Marvell poem.

    That ratings thing is a bit depressing though. Does it mean that we will always have to blog about things that THE WHOLE NATION IS WATCHING? I mentioned Elvis Costello yesterday but I bet they're not queuing round the block to Google him.

  4. Allow me to let you into a secret: if you REALLY want the hits, all you need to do is include the words 'Rupert Penry Jones' in every post and you will 'go stratospheric'. Never fails!

    Sadly, though, the answer is yes. Blog about Prime Time Tosh every day and you'll get lots more hits. Which will push up your Google ratings. But probably not endear you to your devoted *quality* readership!

    Oh, oh, the stress of blogging . . . it's all too much to cope with . . .!

  5. M - did you know that Blogger has changed the way comments are left. On Random Distractions, I can no longer sign in with a hyperlink to my blog. If I use the signature I used to use, all that happens is that an empty Blogger profile crops up - empty as I don't blog with Blogger! If I try to sign in under Open ID with Typepad (which is what I blog with) using either my User Name or my url, I just get a message saying that these are incorrect! Don't have the same problem at Muddy Island (also Blogger powered) as there it is possible to sign in with a name and url of one's choice.

    Does this all make any sense? And do you have any suggestions?!

  6. Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm not deserting Typepad and joining Blogspot Bloggers, i've just filled up the empty profile!

  7. Just back from a lovely outing in the Culm Valley so only catching up with your comments now, J and D.

    Ratings! The first time I had more than 2 comments I nearly died of fright. I always thought i was communicating solely with my Boy. Now I get dejected when my daily rate drops below 30 but worried when it soars for reasons I cannot fathom. Its an odd old world!

    Sorry I can't help about the new Blogger ID, I thought it was supposed to have become easier.

  8. Oooh, photos please!

    Know what you mean about irrational dejection on low-hit days. It's really, really silly, but I think all bloggers fall prey to hit-counter paranoia some of the time. Sometimes I find myself feeling 'hurrumph' when I've posted something REALLY INTERESTING (or so I believed) and the crowds aren't flocking to read it, and then there are days like today, when posting a spur-of-the-moment bit of nonsense results in a mad flurry of visits! Time to Get A Life, probably . . .

    Anyway, look at you today and all these comments on your LR2C post! Not bad, eh?!

  9. This particular episode has done it for me, Sunday Slump is fine but Sunday Comatose is not. I have never seen a programme so incredibly sloooooooooooow and tedious as this one was and the Silver Hairs Among the Gold just about made me reach for the sick bag. What does the BBC think it is doing?

  10. It really is too much, isn't it Elaine? I've looked at the BBC message board, though, and found there are an awful lot of people who think it is wonderful, never having read the books. They are in for an awful shock if they ever do get round to reading them!

  11. I think I must stand alone when I say I adore Lark Rise even though it's nothing like the book. I didn't think much of episode one, but I've warmed to this serial, and especially enjoyed Queenie and Twister's singing of Silver Threads ... yes it was sentimental, but what's wrong with that?

  12. Nothing wrong at all, Galant. It's just that the books are about the hardships of rural communities during that period of change from an agricultural to manufacturing economy. I doubt that the real Twister and Queenie would have frequented the music halls or that Laura would have been familiar with the metaphysical poets. The programme is all too clean and twee for my taste. (Am I right in guessing we have discussed this in an email? I've just made the connection)


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