What Myrrh Is This?

By londonist_nealr Last edited 147 months ago
What Myrrh Is This?


The Wise Men gave the baby Jesus gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

What is myrrh?

Eddie Izzard believed myrrh might have been an illicit rollable herb of the Roman Era. He was wrong, of course. Wasn't he? And the Wise Men, as depicted in "Monty Python's Life of Brian" (1979) explained that myrrh was - if memory serves - a kind of bomb.

But ever-reliable Wikipedia says that myrrh was an ancient perfume and embalming ointment, sometimes burned in Roman funeral pyres to mask the smell of charring corpses. Nice gift for a newborn kid.

Also myrrh was worth more than its weight in gold. It appeared in the form of a "brown, resinous material". Hmm, maybe Eddie Izzard was right.

Whatever myrrh may or may not be, customers at Belgravia's Star Tavern Pub will get a chance to impress their dates by identifying some myrrh. Plates of various substances, some myrrh and some not myrrh, will be presented before pub patrons. Those who correctly identify the myrrh will get... The Star Pub isn't saying, but Londonist believes an unequivocal, CSI-style "positive for myrrh" declaration warrants a free pint - at least.

There is a fundamentalist resurgence in the English-speaking countries in which scientific theorizing has taken a back seat to faith and belief. Perhaps myrrh should be approached in the same spirit. What is important is not what myrrh is or isn't? What's important is one's personal belief about myrrh.

So we at Londonist believe myrrh is a railway station in North Wales.

Last Updated 13 December 2006