By Matt Phillips
Ahead of Christmas, we leave you with a few renditions of “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie,” a favorite traditionally belted out by some of the hearty folks on the trading floor during the holidays.
No one seems to know exactly how the the tradition of singing the song seems to have started. There are reports of traders liking it as far back as the days of FDR. Time Magazine reported on June 30, 1934:
If you bundle 1.000 healthy men who have no particular fondness for reading into one huge hall with nothing much else to do, they will probably sing, sleep or wax playful. Precisely that has occurred on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange almost every trading day for the past two months. Astonished visitors saw sights and heard sounds that would shake the faith of the blackest capitalist. Specialists dozed through raucous japery and ear-splitting versions of such old Floor favorites as “Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie” or “The Wearing of the Green.” Oldsters yawned over backgammon, clerks wrestled and punched each other.
As you might imagine, the lyrics sound a tinge dated. (”‘How I long,’ she sighed, ‘for a trolley ride, just to show my brand new gown.’”) But the tune is still good. Enjoy, and see you on Monday.
(Oh, and if you didn’t know, the U.S. markets are closed Friday. It’s a good thing too, as we don’t know how much more excitement we could take. The Dow’s 82 point gain Thursday was the 15th consecutive day with a swing range of less than 100 points. The last time this occurred was in 1996, according to our markets data crunchers.)
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