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The Happy Prince (S3 | E157)

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The Happy Prince (S3 | E157)

We bring Oscar Wilde’s remarkable (and little-known) short story to life in a new reading on Lester the Nightfly. The soundtrack comes from mostly sacred songs. Britten. Corelli. Rutter. Glass.

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854 to a writer mother and a writer and physician father. He was an excellent student, receiving scholarships and graduating with honors. Wilde married and had two children; however, he had a homosexual love affair for which he was put on trial, convicted of indecency, and imprisoned in Britain for two years. He then spent the last three years of his life in exile in Paris, France, before dying in 1900.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (or Stories) is a collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde first published in May 1888. It contains five stories: “The Happy Prince,” “The Nightingale and the Rose,” “The Selfish Giant,” “The Devoted Friend,” and “The Remarkable Rocket.”

”The Happy Prince” is ironic as it is a story about a Prince who is more sad than happy. His childhood could be considered a period of blissful ignorance as he was kept away from reality. Only after he dies as a statue does the Prince achieve happiness in heaven.

In 1941 Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre broadcast a version on their “Christmas Show,” with music by Bernard Herrmann. A favorite of this radio host since the early 1970’s, it was this audio version of this tale that is the reason for this 2023 recreation of The Happy Prince on Lester the Nightfly Radio.

The Happy Prince

Song or MovementArtist / AlbumYear
God Rest Ye Merry GentlemenBoston Pops Orchestra / Christmas Collection2022
Good King WenceslasBoston Pops Orchestra / Christmas Collection2022
Hark The Herald Angels singBoston Pops Orchestra / Christmas Collection2022
Akhnaten, Act I, Scene 2 Coronation of AkhnatenAkhnaten2022
Waltz of the FlowersBoston String Quartet / On Christmas Eve2007
Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op 6, No, 8 Christmas ConcertoCorelli: 12 Concerti Grossi Op. 62014
Akhnaten, Act II Scene 4 Hymn to the SunPhillip Glass: Akhnaten (Live from the Met)2021
A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28: BalulalowBenjamin Britten New London Children’s Choir / Britten A Ceremony of Carols Friday Afternoons1995 (1942)
Once in Royal David’s CityHymns & Songs of Worship2009
I Wonder as I WanderThe Cambridge Singers & John Rutter / Christmas Star – Carols for the Christmas Season1997
Atum – Creator Sun GodAnkh: The Sound of Ancient Egypt1998
In The Bleak Mid-WinterRosetti / Essential Christmas Carols from King’s2022
Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op6, No 8, Adagio Christmas Concerto, Corelli2014
Akhnaten, Prelude – Refrain, Verse 1, Verse 2Phillip Glass: Akhnaten (Live from the Met)2021
Carol of the BellsMykola Dmytrovych Leontovych / Home Alone (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)1990
Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op6, No 8 – LargoChristmas Concerto, Corelli2003 (1733)
Wexford CarolJuliet Andrews / Greatest Christmas Songs2000
Playlist: PJ Ewing

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PJ

DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Mary

    Well done!!! Really enjoyed the story and the great music and sounds!! Swept me away

    1. PJ

      Yay – thank you Mary!!!

  2. SZ

    Who reads the part of the swallow, please?

    1. PJ

      Will find the name and will email you.

      1. SZ

        Thank you!

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