" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

January 12, 2023

The Water-Babies, a Book You Must Read Before You Die ... or Kind of Drown in a Body of Water?🌊🏊

'The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby' is one of the strangest "childrens" books I have ever read (or listened to being read) and the 1978 movie which is very loosely based on the book is also rather strange for a children's movie.
The Water Babies (1978 film)
I only just listened to the whole book being read to me on a Loyal Books free Apple Podcast series and watched the 1978 movie on a You Tube someone had posted.
Written in 186263 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. It was written as part satire in support of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species. The book was extremely popular in the United Kingdom and was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades, but eventually fell out of favour in America in part due to its claimed prejudices against Irish, Jews, Catholics, and Americans" ... so the Wikipedia page tells us.
One of Edward Linley Sambourne's illustrations
I haven't seen the illustrations in the book by Edward Linley Sambourne, apart from the ones floating around on the net, but I would imagine that it was the book illustrations that made it a favourite of children and their parents alike, as the storyline is rather shambolic to listen to and make much sense out of for adults, never mind children.
I think it is worth a read or listen from a 2023 adult point of view, if you are interested in pop-cultural influences rippling through the years, but as a children's story it is rather boring, confusing and rather dated.   
"The book was adapted into an animated film The Water Babies in 1978 starring James Mason, Bernard Cribbins and Billie Whitelaw. Though many of the main elements are there, the film's storyline differs substantially from the book, with a new sub-plot involving Tom saving the Water-Babies from imprisonment by a kingdom of sharks."
'Houses of the Holy'
I found some interesting trivia about the actors involved in the 1978 movie adaption at the movie's IMDB page.
Samantha Gates and her brother were the children on the cover of Led Zeppelin's Album, 'Houses of the Holy', which turns 50 years old this year and Samantha was also on the back cover of their 'Presence' album.
But it got interesting when I looked up to see just how many of the actors from that 1978 movie were still alive.
James Mason who played Mr. Grimes and Bernard Cribbins who played Mr. Masterman both passed away on July 27th, but 38 years apart.
And Billie Whitelaw who played Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, the Old Crone, Mrs. Tripp, the Woman in Black, and the Water Babies 'Gate Keeper' passed away on December 21st, which just happens to be Tommy Pender's birthday.
He is the boy who plays Tom the chimney sweep in the movie.    
Life, art and dates, as they say:-)
Jeff Beck - A Day in the Life?🎸


  1. Dude, water babies are part of Indian folklore here in the northwest. Pay attention or else their fangs will rip your breasts and eat the baby. Just saying! 87

  2. And just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water Dennis ;-)