'The Sound of Christmas' – a poem by Alan Titchmarsh

1 December 2018, 08:30 | Updated: 1 December 2018, 08:31

To celebrate the Classic FM Sound of Christmas switch-on, Alan Titchmarsh has dusted off his bard’s hat and treated us to a rather special poem.

Along with our Classic FM Christmas stream that plays back-to-back Christmas music, we are now embracing the festive cheer on the radio and will be playing Christmas music throughout December.

We also have an exciting selection of special Christmas programmes lined-up. To read more about our Christmas programmes, click here.

December 1 presents a momentous occasion for Classic FM, marking the sound of Christmas switch-on when we play our first Christmas song of the season.

This year, Alan Titchmarsh was the lucky one to play our first Christmas tune, and he wrote a poem especially for the occasion...

The Sound of Christmas

You’ve heard of Ebenezer Scrooge?
(The chip upon his shoulder, huge),
His humbug, no mere man could match it.
Don’t believe me? Ask Bob Cratchit.

For each and every Christmastide
With aspect dour and comments snide
He’d trudge the snowy streets of town
His features mean, his eyes cast down.

Avoiding greeting cheerful people
While bells rang out from tower and steeple
Celebrating time of Yule
He’d mumble “Take me for a fool?”

Tis humbug all these celebrations
Don’t want friends. Have no relations.
Look at Cratchit, and his brood;
No coal, no clothes, no drink, no food.

What right have they to be so merry?
No turkey, pudding, beer or sherry.
He moaned into his gin at night
And pulled the bedclothes right up tight.

His sleep had been curtailed of late
By visits from a curious spate
Of spectre, spirit, apparition
And he no slave to superstition.

The moon a shining silver crescent
Shone on the ghost of Christmas present;
Following on so swift and fast
From previous ghost of Christmas past.

But on this night like beating drum
The ghost of Christmas yet to come
Rapped hard upon the frosted pane
Until an entry it could gain

And sat upon his threadbare quilt
The wax upon his candle spilt;
The flame it flickered, flared then died
And Scrooge upon his bedstead cried:

“Tell me ghost, why do you come
At dead of night with beat of drum?”
The ghost said nothing, did not linger
Pointed with a bony finger

To a vision in the snow
That lie upon the street below.
Scrooge descended icy stairs
Drawn on by distant ghostly airs

Of trumpet, fiddle, drum, bassoon,
Harp and organ joined in tune
That echoed through the frosty night
As moon and stars shone fair and bright.

“What is it, spirit?” Scrooge enquired,
His curiosity now fired.
The mean expression left his face
And there instead a look of grace;

A smile, a chuckle joined the sound
Of Irving Berlin, Holst and found
The old man smile and softly say
‘Oh!, Gloria in Excelsis Deo’.

People gathered now to see
The miser’s unremitting glee
As from a small box on the ground
There came the most angelic sound.

The ghost of Christmas yet to come
Had caused old Scrooge to sing and hum
Forgetting now his daily toil
As through the air rang ‘Once in Royal’.

From being a miserable miser,
Ebenezer Scrooge was wiser.
Leroy Anderson and Rutter,
Now became his bread and butter.

He sees the future, cons it, checks it,
Passing swiftly over Brexit…
Turns away from chances botched
To revel in ‘While Shepherds Watched’.

A stranger to Roget’s Thesaurus
He sang the ‘Alleluia’ Chorus,
Heard the wondrous Christmas story,
‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’.

He saw his former life was folly,
Decked the halls with boughs of holly.
Soon he would forswear the gin
As his three ships came sailing in.

Bob Cratchit now was not boracic,
Thanks to listening to Classic
On the wireless Scrooge gave him.
‘God bless us all!’ said Tiny Tim.

Scrooge himself was henceforth altered,
His new-found joy it never faltered;
Festive music we all know
Can give us all a Christmas Glow.

And so with little more ado,
We bring the Yuletide choirs to you.
Festive sounds to fill the nation,
From Classic FM – the Christmas station.

© Alan Titchmarsh