SongNotes: Millard, the Mallard, a Christmas story

Illustration for a story
J. O’Reilly Productions, Cultural Arts and Blog
J. O’Reilly Productions, Cultural Arts and Blog
SongNotes: Millard, the Mallard, a Christmas story

Duck the halls with boughs of holly.

“If he didn’t do something quick he’d be playing the title role in the off-loop revival of Duck Soup!”

(from Millard, the Mallard, by Tom Amandes)
Illustration for a story
Young Millard, by Alex Broz

If it looks like a duck and waddles like a duck…
Tom Amandes leads a stellar ensemble in his delightful and funny Christmas story about a family of fowl heading south through a Chicago snowstorm, losing (and reuniting with) son Millard, who’s joined a circus.  Featuring Cecilie O’Reilly as the Box Lady, and Paul Amandes as young Millard, with Jamie O’Reilly and Tom Amandes.  Accompanied by Willy Schwarz on accordian.

Recorded live at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, 1987. Available here to the public for the first time!

Mama and Papa Mallard search for little Millard, lost in a Chicago snowstorm at Christmastime.

Listen here!

(The above link will take you to Google Drive. The story is 12 minutes long.)

Millard, the Mallard Cast
Paul Amandes, Millard
Cecilie O’Reilly, Box Lady
Jamie O’Reilly, Mama
Tom Amandes, Narrator, Papa, Clown

The Rogues Christmas Quartet was active in the 1980s.

Photo front: Cecilie O’Reilly. Jamie O’Reilly
back: Paul Amandes, Tom Amandes

LISTEN to The Rogues White Christmas, vocal arrangement by Wayland Rogers.

With Olive and Cosmo

SongNotes Millard, the Mallard
December Blog, 2021
Jamie O’Reilly

Singing Christmas carols around the city was one of my first forays out of music school  We had fun gigs: Marshall Field’s Atrium re-opening, a penthouse under renovation on Michigan Ave, swanky hotel ballrooms, and a steady at the AMA caferteria. (My Mom got us that gig).

Tom Amandes wrote Millard, the Mallard when our daughters were little. This winning tale of a family of ducks flying south through one of Chicago’s legendary snowstorms, showcases the talents of my sister Cecilie, as the Box Lady and Tom’s brother Paul, as the silly boy-duck Millard. We recorded it one wintry night in the late 80s. Available here for the first time! Inside jokes, puns and sound effects (on accordian), make listening again even more fun for me and our grandchildren! 
Enjoy!  Jamie


The State Street Windows:
Christmas memories in Chicago

A trip to see the Christmas windows on State Street was my family tradition.
We went by train from Crystal Lake to see windows at Carson Pirie Scott, Wieboldt’s, Stevens, and Marshall Field’s, with its magical toy department. State Street had cafeterias back then. For our huge brood, sit-down restaurants were out of the question. You ordered from the line, or sat at the counter at places like Woolworth’s.  We brought sandwiches from home, and chose one thing from the revolving display case. Cake, pie or pudding.

Coming this winter
Jamie O’Reilly with John Erickson
A MidWinter Concert
Serenades. Lullabies & Lovesongs
Tre Kronor Bistro, Chicago

Millard, the Mallard Recording Engineer: Timothy Powell
Rogues Christmas photo by Jennifer Girard; Jamie photo Iwona Biedermann Photography
Millard Illustration by Alex Br

© Millard, the Mallard, written by Tom Amandes, 1987, all rights reserved
Blog and contents copyright Jamie O’Reilly, J. O’Reilly Productions, 2021, all rights reserved