Tolkien’s Banjo

I’ve just been watching an episode of Lewis on TV. In it, an art student was conducting tours of unknown Oxford, including telling people about a crocodile in the river and that Tolkien was well known for playing the banjo in the pub. However, a brief survey of the internet throws up several crocodile references, including a reference to fossil crocodiles. There is even a serious reference to Tolkien and banjos.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and in this case, though it’s difficult to measure strangeness, it would seem that this might be the case.

It is inevitable that I end up pressing more links once I get going, and as a fan of the Narnia books it seemed in order to search for “C. S. Lewis” and “harmonica”. How many do you think there are? I didn’t think there would be any but it seems there are a lot of religious people on forums who discuss harmonica playing and use quotes from Lewis in their signatures. 187,000 to be precise.

I would have loved to have turned up a reference to the Inklings running musical evenings but it seems I am to be thwarted. Instead I have managed to find that Lewis didn’t think that Pauline Baynes could draw lions, that Baynes learned her map drawing skills with the Admiralty in WW2, and that Kipling wrote a poem about banjos (it’s a long poem, and not one of his best).

As a result of this I searched for some help on concentration skills. I liked this list, and already have the “eat breakfast” and “take breaks” bits covered. That just leaves 14 more to master…



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