When I was a child, at every Christmas season, we children of the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's glued ourselves to the radio, to listen to "The Happy Prince", "The Small One", "The Littlest Angel", and "The Tongue-less Ones". All of these stories instilled in us, without our even being aware of it, the principles of Jesus, and the stories he told as parables during his ministry 2000 years ago, and of "The Golden Rule".
How happy I am to report to you that my internet "google search" has revealed that these stories were (at least in the case of "The Happy Prince") recorded in the 1940's by the American Record label "Decca", with Orson Welles narrating, Bing Crosby as "The Prince", and with Lurene Tuttle as "the swallow". The music was composed by one of the giants of film music at that time, Bernard Herrman, and was directed by Victor Young.
These stories still bring tears to my eyes, whenever I hear them. Although our mother and father instilled in us a knowledge of the Golden Rule by the example of their living, in every aspect, this was not a "by wrote" experience. It was the music and the golden voices, and the stories, which put us "into the very shoes" of the Happy Prince (stuck up there on his lonely pedestal, as a statue), and his loyal friend the swallow.
It is with great joy that I can report to you, my friends at Nigerian Village Square, that this story of "The Happy Prince" can now be heard again on-line, at http://www.kiddierecords.com/2005/index.htm (scroll down and click on "Launch Stream" while pointing to "The Happy Prince".
Similarly, you may find Christmas stories like "The Small One", "The Littlest Angel", "The Small One", "Lullaby of Christmas" ("The Tongue-less Ones"), and many other old favorites at
http://www.kiddierecords.com/xmas/index.htm , or at other section headers, so that together, we can kindly relive all of these stories with our children, and our grandchildren....
They carry the True Message of Jesus, the Gospel of Love. They are the stuff of true legends.
But to get back to the "Happy Prince", which was written by Oscar Wilde in 1888:
The little swallow was the Prince's only friend as he stood on his lonely statue's pedestal overlooking the city. There, the unhappy prince could see all of the hardships he had been unaware of during his privileged life. The little swallow did as the Prince commanded, and distributed the fine gold and jewells which covered him, to the poor and needy, until the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. The town councilors noticed this as they walked in the mornings frost, and had him hauled down for melting in the furnace. They meanly argued amongst themselves as to which of them should replace the Happy Prince on the pedestal.
"What a strange thing", said the foreman of the workmen at the foundry. "This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away". And they threw it onto the scrapheap, where the little dead bird lay.
"Bring me the two most precious things in the city", said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart, and the dead bird.
"You have rightly chosen", said God, "for in my garden of Paradise, this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold, the Happy Prince shall praise me".
I probably will not have to remind readers that Oscar Wilde himself suffered the pangs of being different; he was subsequently jailed for his loving expression of his and his male partner's homosexuality. But it is obvious from his writing, that his heart was of gold. And certainly, not criminal, for there was no victim.
The law of the land at that time, was wrong (unequal), and the fault lay elsewhere.
Given all that I have said, in all of my posts thus far in Nigerian Village Square, it should come as no surprise to you, that I believe that criminalizing "what comes naturally to some" is itself an abuse of a minority by majority mob. And should itself be, and must be judged, as criminal in the extreme. For there is no hate in Love (however that is expressed between consenting adults).
Homosexuality of itself is not criminal. Rape, and other abuses of power, are. Who ever, where ever, and how ever we are, we should not will for others that which we would hate for our own selves, because then the fault lies with "us". Now is the time for President Museveni of Uganda to stand against oppression, and to err on the side of kindness.
Source: Village Square