December 18, 2004
Three weeks ago we begged the boys of the traditional Celtic band Boys of the Lough to stop in and see us again before heading back over the pond. To our great delight, they accepted — tune in to hear them this weekend. Also joining us will be jazz vocalist Inga Swearingen (you may recognize her from the 30th anniversary DVD), guitarist/mandolinist/fiddler John Niemann, the adventures of Guy Noir, the news from Lake Wobegon, and more.

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In its entirety
Listen to the whole show, recorded on December 18, 2004, from the Fitzgerald Theater.
In segments
Play individual show segments as listed below.

Segment 1
00:00:00Logo
00:00:12Tishomingo Blues
00:02:32GK talks about Christmas, "I Am So Glad", Introduces Prudence Johnson
00:05:51"White Christmas" - Prudence Johnson
00:08:12Production script
Segment 2
00:18:00The Lives of the Cowboys script
00:24:53Percussion poem - GK and Arnie Kinsella
00:30:05"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Rich Dworsky and Dan Chouinard
00:32:50"Hark the Herald Angel Sing"/Powdermilk Biscuit Break
Segment 3
00:35:48GK introduces Inga Swearingen
00:36:18"Christmastime (Just in Time)" - Inga Swearingen and Shoe Band
00:39:30GK introduces Boys of the Lough, gives them Christmas gifts
00:42:25"The Trowie Burn," "The Aith Rant," The High Geese in the Bog" - Boys of the Lough
00:47:20"The Wexford Carol" - Boys of the Lough
00:51:08Guy Noir script
00:59:47"O Holy Night" - Prudence Johnson
Segment 4
01:03:45Intermission/"Jingle Bell Rock" - Shoe Band
01:07:26Greetings
01:10:12Trip Giveaway drawing
01:15:50Cruise Announcement
01:17:42"Christmas Dreams" - John Niemann and Shoe Band
01:20:46Tap script
01:22:30"Santa Lucia and Stille Natt" - Inga and Britta Swearingen
01:28:33"Twelve Days of Christmas" - GK and Tom Keith
Segment 5
01:31:38The News from Lake Wobegon
Segment 6
01:45:25"Christmas Fiddle Medley" - Boys of the Lough and Shoe Band
01:48:20Catchup script
01:51:53"Silent Night" - Brendan Begley and Boys of the Lough
01:55:00"Martin's One-Horned Cow," "How Are You Kitty?" - Boys of the Lough
01:58:15Closer - All

Photos from the show

Click images to view slideshow. (Photos taken by Melissa Sperl)

Garrison Keillor opens the Christmas show. Arnie Kinsella, with a percussionist's take on "'Twas The night Before Christmas."
Prudence Johnson sings "O Holy Night." Garrison chats with audience-member Hannah, who volunteered to help with the trip raffle.
Tom Keith, Tim Russell and Sue Scott, with a word about how Minnesota tap water is perfectly fine, thankyouverymuch. The Swearingen sisters, Britta and Inga, explain how their family celebrates St. Lucia day.

Guest Recordings
  • Boys of the Lough
  • Music Information
    Performers, music sources and credits
    Guest Information
  • Boys of the Lough
  • Inga Swearingen
  • John Niemann
  • Scripts
  • Production script
  • The Lives of the Cowboys script
  • Guy Noir script
  • Tap script
  • News from Lake Wobegon
  • Catchup script



  • Lyrics
  • Percussion poem
  • Hark the Herald Angel Sing
  • Twelve Days of Christmas


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    Scene at the Fitz

    The People We Meet at Our Show

    The Petersons
    The Petersons
    John and Penny Peterson live in Florida, but they grew up on the Iron Range of Minnesota, up north, and they miss it very much. They came back to show their young son Jack his roots, a sentiment we very much appreciate. We're glad they made our show, on December 18, a stop on their tour.

    Ed Barch
    Ed Barch
    We caught Ed Barch in the lobby and asked him how far he'd come to see us. At first the man would not give us a straight answer. Seems he was worried we wouldn't get it, but no, we get it: Ed's home base is in Toledo, Ohio, but he drives a truck, and the stop before St. Paul was Salt Lake City. December 18 was the second time Ed's seen us; he came through town a month ago and loved us so much he couldn't wait to come back.

    David and Catherine Schmidt
    The Schmidts
    David and Catherine Schmidt moved to Rochester, Minnesota from Maine about a year ago, so Catherine could complete her residency at the Mayo Clinic. December 18 was the first time they've had a chance to see the show, though (understandable, considering...). They said that being with us on December 18 meant they could cross another thing off their life's to-do list, but we hope that someday they'll find time to visit again.

    The Thoresons and Deb Kuehn
    Deb, Al, & Alta
    Al and Alta Thoreson of Maplewood, Minnesota hosted their friend Deb Kuehn (left) of Rapid City, South Dakota last weekend, and they did something incredibly, wonderfully Minnesotan on her behalf: On the morning of December 18, they let their tired friend sleep in while they went early to the Fitz to pick up a number for the rush line. Isn't that nice?


    Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

    Old Sweet Songs

    Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

    Available now»

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