Fire up yer CD players!

Aunt Jane (Corrigan) McGuinness

Jane (Corrigan) McGuinness, February 1953

If you thought the DVD project was fun, just wait until you approach your mailbox in a few days, wondering why you hear the muffled strains of a button accordion trying to break free… could that be Aunt Jane playing “Mother Machree” and other standards?… and reciting poetry? You betcha! You’ll find in your mailbox a homegrown CD, and you’ll be jigging and hornpiping and reeling your way back to your stereo, where you’ll hear a 1971 Christmas Day céili at the McAleese household that had Aunt Jane providing the music and recitations, Peg providing the traditional Irish dance steps in the background, Grandpa providing his brogue, and Grandma providing her classic laughter, and some singing, while shouting out requests.

Thanks to Peg and Jim unearthing audio cassettes from a basement shoebox — and a tape transfer guy located in Raymond, NH, who converted them to MP3 files for me so that my computer could process CD copies for everyone — and Santa telling us that you’ve all been very good this year — this is our holiday gift to you all.

But wait, there’s more fun (and how could that possibly be)! Have a hankering to hear some down-home holiday caroling? Well, hold tight, because the second half of the CD is a 1971 Christmas Eve caroling session at the Doherty household that included the McAleese clan. You’ll hear festive tunes including “Deck The Halls,” a special Latin version of “Adeste Fideles” led by Uncle Big Jim, and then our special star soloist, our chanteuse of the evening, Maureen, singing the best version of “Little Drummer Boy” that you’ve ever heard come from the mouth of babes. Maureen was kind enough that evening to not only solo for us, but then lead the carolers for a group reprise, all at the tender age of seven years young. Folks, you’ll be wanting to hear rum pum pum pum over and over again for the rest of the holiday season once you’ve tasted it here. Enjoy!

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