The voices of a small group of children from Essex singing, "Santa, Can You Bring My Daddy Home?" in honor of troops serving in the Persian Gulf region are touching the hearts of people everywhere.
ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" will be in town Tuesday for a remote broadcast of the song, which was recorded Monday by a girls' choir from St. Clare's School and Essex United Methodist Church, saidone of the song's writers.
Cassette tapes of the song were delivered to local radio stations this week, and many were responding to requests for it all day long yesterday.
Judy Gallagher, operations manager for WLIF-FM, said there had been at least a dozen calls requesting it.
"It's a good indication that people want to know about it," Ms. Gallagher said.
Greg Dunkin, program director at WMIX-FM, said at least a dozen people had called asking to hear the song.
"That is very good for a song that is new . . . one that not that many people have heard," he said.
Pam Trickett, assistant program and music director for WBSB-FM, said more than a dozen people had called requesting the song.
"It's not your normal new song," Ms. Trickett said. "It's a novelty song. One that is packed with emotion. That's why it is being requested."
"Overwhelming," is how the principal of St. Clare's School describedthe response to the song from people who read about it in The Sun or heard it on television news.
"The phone has been ringing off the hook from people who want to buy it," said Joan Depkin, the principal.
Calls have come in from news media around the country who saw the song featured on "NBC Nightly News" Thursday, Mrs. Depkin said.
So far, the song has been recorded only on a limited number of audio tapes and videotape, she said.
"We are a parochial school," Mrs. Depkin said. "We can not produce the song to be sold. If someone wants to come forward to back us, it would be wonderful."
The song was written by Jane and Darryl Matarozza, a couple who teach at the school.
The husband-and-wife team said they were inspired by the sadness on the face of a St. Clare student, Lindsey Zulauf, during a television interview about her father's departure for the Persian Gulf aboard the Baltimore-based hospital ship, USNS Comfort.
"It is just snowballing," an excited Mr. Matarozza said of the response to the song.
A copy of the audio tape has already been dispatched to the Alexandria, Va., headquarters of the Military Sealift Command, to which the Comfort is assigned. The command has sent the cassette on to the Navy's broadcasting service for possible transmission to the forces aboard, a spokeswoman said.
The children are scheduled to perform the song at the Aberdeen Proving Ground on Dec. 22.