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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Today, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, a Christmas Eve tradition, the people who trade stocks set aside orders for a minute and...

(Soundbite of New York Stock Exchange)

Unidentified Male #1: Come on McGuire(ph), let's go!

Unidentified Male #2: McGuire, McGuire, we're going, we're going.

Unidentified Male #1: One, two, one, now!

(Soundbite of song "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie")

Members of the New York Stock Exchange: (Singing) Wait till the sun shines, Nellie, As the clouds go drifting by, We will be happy, Nellie, Bye and bye. Down Lover's Lane we'll wander, Sweethearts you and I. Wait till the sun shines, Nellie, By and by.

(Soundbite of clapping and cheering)

SIEGEL: Now over the past year, we've had many occasions to hear from Ted Weisberg president of Seaport Securities and veteran trader on the floor of the New York stock exchange, most of them not so good, but Ted this is the first time that we've heard you singing, this happens every year?

Mr. TED WEISBERG (President, Seaport Securities): Happens every year. It will happen on New Year's Eve day also, but it happens twice a year right on schedule, and it's been, in one form or another, going on for probably more than a 100 years.

SIEGEL: And there's no other song that you sing on the floor of the exchange?

Mr. WEISBERG: That is primarily the song that is sung, both on the floor and when groups of members get together at parties or whatever it might be. If you get more than two members, current or former, of the stock exchange, that song inevitably will be sung.

SIEGEL: "Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie."

Mr. WEISBERG: "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie."

SIEGEL: A tune written by Harry Von Tilzer, born Aaron Gumbinsky in Detroit I might add, a man who ran away to the circus and became one of America's most famous song writers. Now was there any special sentiment here in that hopeful lyric, given what's happened on the floor of the exchange in 2008?

Mr. WEISBERG: I think - I think the floor - there is always hope on the floor of the stock exchange, but particularly in the holiday season. And it is a song that no matter where you are, no matter what kind of year it has been, it brings a smile and hope to everybody, and it basically is a period of renewal as we go into the new calendar trading year.

SIEGEL: You know, I read a clip today from Time Magazine in July 1934 that says that year, when volume had really shrunk on the exchange, traders would sing all the time, even in July. This is one of the songs they sang, but they sang others too.

Mr. WEISBERG: Well, I think, you know, one of the - first of all, the privilege of having been able to work for 40 years as a trader on the floor of the stock exchange I think is very, very special, and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to be here and still come here after all these years because the environment on the trading floor is so special and so unique. It is a culture all unto itself. The singing, and sometimes the frivolity and the jokes, is really an outlet for the stress and the emotion which is with us everyday no matter what the market is doing.

SIEGEL: Well, I hear there's going to be a lot of sunshine tomorrow at least.

Mr. WEISBERG: Everyday the sun will come out.

SIEGEL: OK, Ted Weisberg. Happy New Year, happy holidays, and thanks for talking to us today and so often during the year.

Mr. WEISBERG: Happy New Year and happy holidays to you and all your listeners.

SIEGEL: The composer of "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie," Harry Von Tilzer, wrote other popular songs at the end of the 19th and into the earlier 20th century. So, did his brother Albert who wrote the tune for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Three other brothers got into the music business too, but Jack, Julie, and Will Von Tilzer never made it big. Harry Von Tilzer also wrote the standard "I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad)" and on YouTube, where else, we came across a clip of Von Tilzer sitting at the piano playing his version of Nellie.

(Soundbite of song "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie")

SIEGEL: Composer Harry Von Tilzer playing his song, "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie." It was sung this afternoon, as it is every Christmas Eve and every New Year's Eve, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. And the Dow today? A ray of sun, it was up a pinch.

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