EPISODE#80: The Deep Dive Microcast looks at the mysterious origins of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas!


All over our wonderful nation the bells are ringing and there are christmas sales their tinkling sound tells us to be good and to be true so let the bells ring out and let me on behalf of a manager and all the employees of this. The wish you. Marius christmas ever. Hello divers coming to you from studio. D this is the deep dive micro cast. I'm tom feeney. Raconteur taster of baked goods and writer for wing. Shaw movie magazine. This is a companion series of the deep dive. Podcast where myself. And my co host man look look at the lesser known maybe obscure and perhaps forgotten offerings available on streaming media. Services on this microsoft. We'll dive into the history of one of the most iconic pieces of christmas literature in existence. The poem a visit from saint nicholas better known as twas the night before christmas was the night before christmas when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. Stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that saint nicholas soon would be there. Children were nestled all snug in that faith while visions of sugar plums danced today. Cultural significance of the phone can't be understated much of our modern notions of christmas. Where cemented by the verse including santa claus. Arriving on christmas eve not christmas day and the names of santa's eight reindeer more. Rapidly egos is cautious. They came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. No that's your friends on on a on you off old way. Only the reading of this poem has become a christmas tradition since its introduction nearly two hundred years ago but there is a mystery regarding this beloved piece who wrote it. The poem was first published on december. Twenty third in the sentinel. The local newspaper of troy new york. The work was attributed to simply anonymous. The paper's editor orville holly printed the following with the publication of twas the night before christmas. We're not home. We are indebted for the following description of that wearied patron of music that only and delightful person essential parental kindness. Santa claus is costumes as equa power as he goes about the firesides of this happy land laden with christmas bounties but from home so ever it may have come we give thanks for it. There is to our apprehension a spirit of cordial goodness in it. A playfulness fancy and benevolent alacrity to enter into the feelings and promote the simple pleasures of children which is altogether charming after the original publication the palm fell into relative obscurity appearing sporadically in some newspapers over the next several years thirteen years after its original appearance. Twas the night before. Christmas was included in a book of poetry authored by a man named clement clarke moore. One story goes that more by all accounts. A scholarly serious man did not want his name attributed to the work feeling it was too childish simplistic to have his name attached to it. Another version says moore's housekeeper sent the poem to the newspaper anonymously after hearing more rita to his children with the official publication of the poem in moore's book it seemed that the authorship of the night before christmas was confirmed case closed right well not so much enter henry livingston junior after serving as a colonel in the revolutionary war livingston took up writing poetry and had his works published in various new york area journals. Now there are those who believe that livingston was the actual author of twas the night before christmas. Not clement clarke moore. Why well as mentioned the first printed version of the poem appeared in eighteen. Twenty three and no author was given credit and the work wasn't widely known for decades. It wasn't until eighteen fifty nine thirty six years later that moore's authorship was call into question. The family of colonel livingston came forward and claimed that it was he who authored the poem and had been reading it to his family since eighteen o eight years before it was originally published now the family claimed to have proof a handwritten copy dated earlier than the published version. However that proof was said to have been destroyed in a house fire now there is no evidence that livingston wrote the poem and he never claimed authorship during his lifetime so who actually wrote twas the night before christmas well in recent years there has been a great debate among scholars on the veracity of both claims. The most recent scholarly analysis of the poems origins took on a more scientifically based approach to the mystery. Using a technique called computational stylistics author macdonald p jackson looked for specific linguistic patterns in the poetry of both more and livingston using an algorithm to search for commonalities and differences between the two authors writing styles. The conclusions broke with traditional thinking jackson's findings point towards livingston being the actual author of twas the night before christmas since we have no way to be one hundred percent sure. The debate rages on well as much as a debate about the origins of his centuries old poem about christmas actually can rage on but in the end. It doesn't really matter. Twas the night before christmas has been publishing countless different versions adapted for the screen many many times and perhaps the greatest version of all recorded by german pop idol and baywatch star. David hasselhoff think i'm kidding. He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly he was chubby and plump. A right jolly old elf. And i laughed when i saw him in spite of myself. Wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know nothing. And if that doesn't get in the holiday spirit. I can't help you or maybe i can. We have a your log video the deep dive podcast yul log. That's right we now have our very own fireplace. You can enjoy whenever you like. We spent minutes putting together. This special holiday treat just for you. You can find the link on our website at the deep dive. Podcast dot com. That's it for this week. Thanks for joining the next time. It's the deep dive. Podcast christmas special about our favorite christmas specials. So grab a glass of extra thick viscous. Chunky eggnog and join us dan. Thanks for listening. This is the first time you've heard this podcast. Check out our past episodes and subscribe. So you don't miss a single one and we'd like to hear from you. Drop us a line. At the deep dive. Podcast edgy mail dot com or on our facebook instagram or twitter feeds. You can find links to those on our website once again. That's the deep dive. Podcast dot com all clips using the deep dive micro tests are meant for educational purposes only not to infringe on existing copyrights. The deep dive lounge thing was arranged and performed by robert acorn based on the original composition by ryan blaney the deep dive micra cast is a production of automaton studios. I heard him explain. Drove out of sight. Happy christmas to all and to all a good night.

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