A Christmas Memory
Keep music in your heart
and share it with the generations!
It was Christmas time, December 22, 1986. Nia was just born a few weeks before. I was singing with Jamie O’Reilly and the Rogues for the Flea Market, a live radio show from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. It was an all-star folk line-up with Jim Post and Odetta as featured acts.
I was between two worlds as a mother to an infant and a four year old, and as the leader of a popular folk band. I didn’t want to put tiny Nia down for long that day. She’d come through a mild (only 8), case of chicken pox.
Her sister Meg had an eye infection that was tough to look at and I was worried about her. When it came time to sing the lullaby A Cradle in Bethlehem, I handed Nia to my sister and asked Meg to sit near the front where I could see her. And then I sang this song to them. We ended the concert with Odetta and Jim Post leading Silent Night with the audience and Odetta weeping and squeezing my hand hard with all the joy she felt, and hugging my little girls after.
It is no small thing that this year, 28 years later, my daughters will be singing with me tonight. Nia will sing “Della” in The Gift of the Magi. Meg will do a guest spot, and close the concert with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Meg is just one month away from bringing her own baby daughter to the world! Now I sing a grandmother’s lullaby.
The Gift of the Magi Christmas Concert is December 6 at 7 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner, Chicago, IL. Accompanying me will be Michael Smith, Peter Swenson, Katrina O’Reilly, Lily Floeter, Al Ehrich, with Victor Holstein reading “Jim” in the story. Tickets at the door and at http://www.stjohnschicago.com/
Listen to A Cradle in Bethlehem
Awaiting the baby.
Meg and husband Alex.
The Cradle in Bethlehem song is available on WinterSong,
Jamie’s new CD for the holidays. Read more here.