Friday, 24 February 2017


A while ago, I wrote an article on the original 1973 version of The Wicker Man and the film's implicit whiteness in its distinctly European aesthetics, themes and morality. I am now going to give the same treatment to Mike Oldfield's 1976 arrangement of and accompanying video to the English folk tune "Portsmouth", as it serves as a great lesson in symbolism and aesthetics and how they relate to audience reception.


Hail the Sun


The first thing to note is that "Portsmouth" is an English folk tune. You probably think I am stating the obvious here, but there are several reasons to bear this in mind. The first is that, in being a tune from the English folk, it automatically resonates in the English and, more broadly, European spirit regardless of time and place. The tune was first written down in 1701, but how far back the tune goes into oral tradition is anyone's guess. This is why, although Oldfield released it as a single in November 1976, it still reached number three in the British charts, in the face of the artificially-created sneering fakery of the newly-emerged punk scene. That said, Oldfield already knew the single had a good chance of success, as he had released the Mediaeval German Christmas carol "In Dulci Jubilo" in November the previous year, scoring at top ten hit.




Although a folk tune,  Oldfield has created an arrangement here that specifically targets the post-1960s ear. He uses folk music instruments, yet creates a "wall of sound" with them, reminiscent of Phil Spector's musical aesthetic, Spector himself, although Jewish, having been influenced by Richard Wagner's bombast. It is particularly the accordian that creates this effect of constant background rhythm that supports Leslie Penning playing the main tune on recorders, although the "wall of sound" background is also built up later in the tune by the introduction of a mandolin, as the tune rises in forcefulness in crescendo. This building up through the introduction of additional instruments had already been tried and tested in "In Dulci Jubilo", although "In Dulci Jubilo" had been given an even more contemporary treatment in the use of electric guitar and bass. "Portsmouth" then represents even more of a return to traditional folk music in its purest form, even if Oldfield is reinterpreting that tradition for his own age, as Wyndham Lewis advocated.



This return to tradition is emphasised in the outstanding music video that accompanied the tune. It features four beautiful women in traditional dresses performing an English folk dance barefoot with handkerchiefs. Again, modernity plays its part in the camera trickery used to give the impression that the video is shot in one seamless take from different camera angles, switching from camera to camera, yet Oldfield can be seen playing various instruments in different locations, apparently simultaneously. The video location itself is Oldfield's studio, which is obviously a barn conversion and therefore perfect to reflect the organic nature of the artistry performed. Indeed, upward shots deliberately emphasise the wooden beams of the roof and we are also provided with glimpses of country life outside the windows.



As regards the dance itself, the dance troupe often lock hands in the centre as they whirl around with arms bent at the elbow. This creates a spinning sun-wheel, or Swastika, and will no doubt leave Leftists in fits of hysteria, but one must remember that this spiritual symbol has existed since prehistory and is intrinsic to our spirituality. One of my greatest criticisms of Hitler is that he reduced the sacred to the level of politics and one must remember that he banned all other organisations outside of the NSDAP from using the Swastika, including such spiritualist and esoteric groups as the Germanische Glaubens Gemeinschaft. Equally, however, the Left have used the Swastika's politicisation in an attempt to rob White Europeans of their spirituality. The glory of the sun is emphasised in this respect both by shots of the dancers towards the circular window, through which light streams, and (sometimes simultaneously) by shots through the circular tambourine, connecting music, dance, symbolism and aesthetics together in one organic whole.



Thus, on the surface, the tune and dance are light entertainment, yet beneath this, that same light entertainment is brought about by constructions in tone, rhythm, dance, architecture, symbolism and aesthetics that are wrought to bring vitality, meaning and joy, without even being conscious of it, ingrained as it is in the racial soul. Forget viking metal, forget Oi! and RAC, forget Taylor Swift; this is as "fashy" as it gets! Enjoy:


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