Show 81: By The Book, Chapter 2

A fine time was had, eventually, despite some difficulties with the handover and a problem with a couple of the tracks.  We still overran a bit, but you stayed with us, which we do appreciate.

Prior to the show, I had streamed music for Xenipher’s race, a CavCon event aimed at raising awareness of the state of cavern finances and encouraging donations.  The race went well, I think (the secret music, which was not revealed beforehand, was the Uru soundtrack by Tim Larkin, and the track titles were clues), and was won by thoekenem.  We only had a few minutes to make a handover, from me to Ed to host the show, and although it went well as far as could be seen (I did not lose the stream), we did lose a lot of listeners.  Most of them came back though, having been warned that this could happen.

On with the motley, then, and a fun-packed show with a bit more chat than usual.  Well, I had the books to write about as well as the tracks…

I did promise during the show to say a bit more about the Mock Turtle.  Alice In Wonderland, if you don’t know already, is slotted into the “nonsense” category by many, but it truth it is much more complicated than that.  The author, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll is a pen-name) was a mathematics don at Oxford (having achieved a Second in Divinity and a First in Mathematics, and been awarded a Fellowship for life, no mean achievement) and contributed important work in the fields of symbolic logic and what is today known as game theory.  The Alice books  are full of logical allusions, as well as literary references and puns.  The original illustrations for the books were done by celebrated illustrator and cartoonist Sir John Tenniel, to Dodgson’s exacting and profuse directions, and should be considered as part of the story.

So, the Mock Turtle is an allusion to a culinary dish called Mock Turtle soup, which is a dish that tries to replicate the taste of green turtle soup using items more easily available.  The main component is a calf’s head, boiled, and the meat recovered for use in the soup, along with oysters and a few other things.  Hence Tenniel, under Dodgson’s instructions, made the Mock Turtle have a turtle’s body and front flippers, but a calf’s head, feet and tail.  A clever visual joke, sadly lost on today’s audience who have no reason to know what Mock Turtle soup is made out of.  The text of the relevant chapter can be found here, and will explain the whole “Fainting in Coils” thing (painting in oils, in case it’s not obvious)

I’ll link to as many helpful pages for the books and songs as I can below.

The Show

Title Artists Album Year Book
Oedipus Rex Tom Lehrer The Remains Of Tom Lehrer [disc 2: Live Performances] 2000 Sophocles, 429 BC
I Am Stretched On Your Grave Abney Park Lost Horizons 2008 Irish poem, C17
Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Iron Maiden Powerslave 1984 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798
Jerusalem Emerson Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery 1973 William Blake, 1804
Wreck of the Hesperus George Harrison Cloud Nine 1987 Longfellow, 1842
White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow 1967 Lewis Carroll, Wonderland, 1865
Fainting In Coils Bill Bruford One of a Kind 1979 Lewis Carroll, Wonderland, 1865
Eve Of The War Richard Burton / Justin Hayward Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds 1978 H.G. Wells, 1897
Steppenwolf Hawkwind Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music 1976 Herman Hesse, 1927
New World Strawbs Grave New World 1972 Aldous Huxley, 1932
The Virgin And The Gypsy Steve Hackett Spectral Mornings 1979 D.H. Lawrence, 1930
A Cry For Everyone Gentle Giant Octopus 1972 Camus (1913-60)
Rivendell Rush Fly by Night 1975 Tolkein, 1937
I Robot The Alan Parsons Project I Robot 1977 Asimov, 1940
Watcher of the Skies Genesis Foxtrot 1972 Clarke, Rescue Party, 1945
Big Brother David Bowie Diamond Dogs 1974 George Orwell, 1948
The Mule Deep Purple Fireball 1971 Asimov, Foundation, 1951
Let There Be Light Mike Oldfield Songs of Distant Earth 1994 Clarke, 1986


Airship Pirate Abney Park Lost Horizons 2008 Neil Gaiman, Stardust, 1999
Are ‘Friends’ Electric Tubeway Army Replicas 1979 Phil Dick, 1968
Lady Fuschia Strawbs Bursting At The Seams 1973 Mervyn Peake, 1946
Carry On up the Vicarage Steve Hackett Please Don’t Touch 1978 Agatha Christie, 1920
The Body Electric Rush Grace Under Pressure 1984 Phil Dick, 1968
Pantagruel`s Nativity Gentle Giant Acquiring The Taste 1971 François Rabelais, C16