Carol of the Bells, Performed By A Choir Of Vintage Computers

Here’s a bit of holiday cheer that takes makes clever use of vintage computer technology.

This year’s holiday e-card for The Glasgow School of Art was put together by alumnus James Houston, using a collection of vintage computer gear. In the video, an ensemble of vintage Mac computers, a Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum + 1 and a SEGA Mega Drive perform a rendition of Carol of the Bells.

Houston aimed to create a piece of Christmas music by appropriating past Christmas gifts. “I discovered that a few had the capability for speech synthesis so the obvious next step was to figure out how to assemble a choir.” he said.

The new lyrics, below, were written by Robert Florence & Philip Larkin.


Hail the machines
Sweet old machines
Blow off the dust
Wipe off the rust

Christmas has come
Joy is foretold
For those of us
You never sold

Still we are here
Still full of cheer
Just plug us in
It will begin

Friends us and you
Friends we are true
We have nothing
Better to do

Bleep bloop beep bong
Hear our sweet song
If none of our
Coding is wrong

By the way we remind you that you could
Play with us every day of the year
Just ignore that our casing is all mucky
We’ll still load for you if we are lucky

Give us a thought
Blow in the slot
Tighten the screw
We will come through

Your dreams and plans
Your tiny hands
Focused and primed
Since you were nine

Now on this day
You can replay
Missions of when
You’re young again

Around the tree
New gifts embraced
We’ve been replaced

Phone in your hand
Best in the land
Can’t take you back
To wonderland

But we can bring
Back everything
Just reminisce
Digital bliss

Think i might get a new model this year the one i have is so twenty–twelve

I bet you watch this e card on a smart phone
Ach we wish that we could be a smart phone

Safe to shut down
We mustn’t frown
Our song is done
Loft here we come

Beep beep beep
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