Today is the birthday of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. He’s almost better known nowadays for his rollicking life rather than his verse, but his poetry is quite lovely, and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” is essential yuletide reading – try and track down the version with beautiful Edward Ardizzone drawings.


One of my favourite musicians, the immensely talented genius that is John Cale, made a sequence of songs based on Thomas’ poems called “The Falklands Suite” which was released on an album called “Words for the Dying” back in 1989. It’s an amazingly powerful and moving piece, much of which was recorded in Russia owing I think to producer Brian Eno’s connections.


Here is my favourite track, “Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed” performed by Cale and an orchestra in 1988:

ETA: And here is a recording of Dylan himself reading “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”.