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Alan Maitland reads ‘Jest ‘Fore Christmas’

The Story


Alan Maitland, as Fireside Al, reads a poem called Jest 'Fore Christmas, which expresses a determination felt by many children wishing to guarantee presents under the tree on Christmas morning. The poem is by Eugene Field, and is reflective of a twinkling sense of humour.

Medium: Radio
Program: Fireside Al
Broadcast Date: Dec. 20, 1977
Narrator: Alan Maitland
Duration: 2:27

Did You know?


• Eugene Field, who came to be known as "the poet of childhood", was born Sept. 2, 1850, in St. Louis, and died Nov. 4, 1895, in Chicago.

• Two of Field's best-known poems are Little Boy Blue, written for his son, and Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, originally titled Dutch Lullaby.  His Little Boy Blue is not the well-known nursery rhyme which entreats him to "come blow your horn", but rather begins "The little toy dog is covered with dust".

• Field also worked as an editor and journalist for a number of newspapers, including the Denver Tribune, and the Chicago Morning News.


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