Christmas 1959

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On Christmas Eve 1959, I placed a recording machine in my children’s bedroom after I turned the lights out. Alas, at one stage the machine broke down but this is a verbatim record of my three children’s conversations; Laura aged seven, Sean aged five and Sile aged three and a half.


Laura: We must hurry up and go to sleep.


Sile: Did you heered dat, dat was I being quiet for Farder Christmas.

Laura: Shhhhhhh. I can hear someone corning!

Sean: It’s not me, I’m already here.

Laura: Shhhhhhlh Sean!

Sean: I am shushinggg, listen ‘


Sile: Do bunny rabbits have Quickmass?

Laura: Oh, hurry up and stop talking.

Sean: It wasunt me, I stopped talking ten hours ago.

Sile: Dat wasunt me talking dat was Sean.

Laura: Father Christmas won’t come if we are not asleeped.

Sile: Doesn’t he like awake children?

Laura: Yes, but only if they are asleeped.

Sean: I’m asleep now but I can still talk.

Laura: (CALLING) Dadddyyy ‘ Daddyyyyyyyy.


Me: What is it?

Laura: They won’t go asleep.

Me: Listen, children, if you don’t go to sleep Father Christmas won’t stop here.

Sean: Where will he stop?

Me: Oh, er, somewhere else.

Sean: I wish we lived there.

Me: Now be good and go to sleep ‘ Goodnight.

OMNES: Goodnight, Daddy.


Sile: Shhhhhhhhhh ‘ I think he’s coming.

Sean: Tell him not yet, I’m still awake.

Sile: So am I, you can hear me being awake.

Laura: (DESPERATE) Ohhh, go to sleeppppppppp. Go to sleeppppppppppppppp.

Sile: I’m going to sleep.


Sean: I can’t hear you.

Sile: I’m sleeping with no noise.

Laura: Sean! Sile! Go to sleep.

Sile: I can’t go to sleep as quick as you ’cause I’m smaller.


-End of Tape-


Merry Christmas, Folks!


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