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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 21:14

And the Bells are ringing out for Christmas Day part 3

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Lily-Mae-with her mum Jude and uncle paulLily-Mae-with her mum Jude and uncle paul

Article number one is here

Article number two is here

Article number four is here

This time last year I wrote about Lily-Mae Morrison.  Here is the text.


This week I’m taking a small departure from Christmas hits. Yes, you can see them below, but before that I want to ask you for money. Not for me, I hasten to add, but for little Lily-Mae.  Lily-Mae Morrison is a four year old girl from Claregalway in Co. Galway who was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma last summer - a very dangerous form of cancer which affects one in every 100,000 kids here.  By stage four the disease has spread to other parts of her body including the bone marrow, as in Lily-Mae’s case.

Lily-Mae went through a five hour operation in late November to remove seven tumours from around her kidney.  The operation was initially to remove a large tumour that was twisted around her kidneys, but during the operation surgeons discovered six more tumours.

Four year old Lily-Mae only developed the disease this year and it has developed so fast that she now has stage four.  She only has a 30% to 40% chance of survival.  Further treatment is available in Europe and at great expense in America.

Lily-Mae will be placed in isolation for up to 10 weeks as she undergoes punishing periods of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  Just imagine your four year old child being put in isolation for 10 weeks. Unconceivable!

Her mum Judith Sibley told of her delight at the success of the operation, which saw 97pc of the main tumour removed. However, she said that the battle was only beginning.  Even after treatment, the cancer returns in 70pc of cases, at which stage it is generally considered untreatable.

Lily-Mae’s parents, Mum Judith and Dad Leighton, are both self-employed ballet dancers and choreographers who also have a two-year-old son Evan.  But they can no longer work as they must bring their little girl into Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin every seven days for treatment.

The Sunni-Mae Trust was launched to raise funds for Lily-Mae’s treatment in July - and has already raised €80,000 to date.  Close family friend and RTE cameraman, Stephen Macken, stepped in. He convinced a huge array of Irish stars to record a song for Lily-Mae, Elton John’s 1971 Classic hit Tiny Dancer. 

Paddy Casey, Declan O’Rourke, Gari Deegan, Mary Black, The Reverse, Rob Vickers, Shane O’Reilly (Bipolar Empire), Mal Touhy (The Riptide Movement), Mundy, Matthew Devereux & Shane Wearan (The Pale), John Spillane, Brian Hogan (Kila & Preacher’s Son), Mickey Joe Harte, Naymedici, Tom Dunne (Something Happens), Paddy McKenna & Lindsey Hogan (Storyfold), Conor Quinn, Gavin James, Arrow in the Sky, Aoife Scott, Laura Sheeran (Nanu Nanu), Camille O’Sullivan, Richie Hayes, Adela Meally & Ros O’Meara (Adela and the Meanits), Sandra Dolan (Strange Frootz), Monica & Anne Brennan, Lucia Evans, Louise Colohan, Emily Macken, Ashley Tubridy, Alan Greaney, Stephen Macken, Cian McSweeney, Monica Fitzgerald, Brian Flanagan, Frank Naughton, Robb Murphy, Declan & Noel O’Farrell, Schira & Mimi Lane, Megan Walsh, and a very special guest singer, Lily-Mae’s father, Leighton Morrison are among the over 300 strong choirto record the song in October and it has already become a YouTube hit.

Next, in stepped the Rocket Man himself.  He started tweeting about it, added it to Youtube and created a link to his own website and his Facebook channel.  He encouraged people to buy the single and make it a number one hit for Christmas.  It is now a number one hit, but in order to be a Christmas number one it has to stay at number one until Christmas.  And this is where you come in.  Please buy the single and keep it there.

Lily_Mae’s parents hope to raise €1million.  You can follow Lily-Mae’s progress on her Facebook page and also

As a father of two great kids (who are now grown up), I feel for Judith and Leighton. I never heard of neuroblastoma and I want to make people aware of it and Lily-Mae.

Lily-Mae likes the colour purple and dinosaurs, and particularly likes purple dinosaurs. She also likes fairies and, more often than not, imagines herself as one.  She would like to 'magic' the pain away but there's no magic in the real world and as a trainee fairy, she finds this a little bit confusing.

Let’s see if we can keep the X Factor winner off the top spot this Christmas.  Simon Cowel’s made-up plastic popstars will live for another day.  Lily-Mae may not.  We have to bring Lily-Mae and neuroblastoma to world attention and raise €1 million for the Sunni-Mae Trust and the neuroblastoma foundation.  You can buy the single here  It’ll cost you €0.99. 

The song made it to number one but didn’t stay there long enough.  It was number two behind the X Factor winner, James Arthur’s song Impossible. However, it does have the honour of being the best selling number two single in Ireland ever.

In the meantime, as of December 2013, Lily-Mae's parents are delighted to report that Lily-Mae is in remission.  See report here.  She wasn't out of hospital when she got a tummy ache.  But that didn't stop her from taking part in The Tiny Dancer Players production of A Christmas Carol in The Barbican Centre, Drogheda


Now on to this this weeks Christmas songs

Kimberly at Ingersol Rand in Dublin and Marion at Global Competence asked me to include The Coventry Carol by Alison Moyet.  This carol goes back to the 16th century and the composer is unknown.  However, writings have been found by Robert Croo dating back to 1534 and the melody dates to 1591.  Alison has accompaniment in her version and it is also sung a capella.

John O from Sydney asked me to put up The Merry Christmas Polka by Jim Reeves. I couldn’t find any background information on this song, so here is the video.

Dick mentioned a song that irritates him and I have to say I agree. I want to be a hippopotamus for Christmas is one to be avoided, but you decide.

Jean suggested Frank Kelly’s 12 Days of Christmas. I have to agree, it’s a brilliant parody.

Marian suggested another annoying song by Frank Sinatra, 'oh by gosh by golly, it's time for mistletoe and holly’. 

Tim suggested one for his wife, "Mary Did You Know?"

Tom in New York suggested The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole.  You will recognise this song by its opening words ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’.  This song was written in 1944 by Bob Wells and Mel Torme aka The Velvet Frog.  The song was written in just 40 minutes.  NKC recorded it in 1946.

Tom T asked for Oh Holy Night, which we did last week.

Colleen in New York asked for How Great Thou Art.  This was written in Sweden in 1885 as a folk song and turned into a hymn when it was played on the BBCs Songs of Praise.  It was translated into German, Russian and English.

Brian in Atlanta asked for Sleigh Ride.  This was written between 1946 and 1948 as an orchestral piece and was first recorded in 1949 as a 78rpm.  Can anyone remember them?


Read 47135 times Last modified on Friday, 20 December 2013 20:21
Robert Tallent

Bob is a Management Consultant, Mentor and Trainer. He is also an Entrepreneur from 1983 to the present day. Between 1983 and 1995 he ran four businesses with a turnover in excess of £1m. As well as having an Honours Degree in Business Studies, he is also an Industrial Engineer and managed a large department in a multinational with large budgets and responsibilities.

He studied to become a Management Consultant, Mentor and Trainer and setup The Synergy Group in 1995.

He has a huge range of business and management experience in practically every industry.

Call him privately on +353(0)87 232 6927

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