Monday, September 10, 2007

What is a Babylon candle?

Saw Stardust yesterday. In it, Babylon candles play an important role. These candles, when lit, whisk the bearer instantly to wherever he wants to go--which isn't explained outright in the film, merely demonstrated (a good example of showing, not telling, BTW). However, given that there's no explanation, I rather assumed that Babylon candles were an established if perhaps obscure fantasy trope--like ten-league boots. Why "Babylon"? No idea. Didn't think too hard about it.

My sister, however, just figured it out: Remember the old nursery rhyme?
How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Yes, and back again.