Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley Boney M
Song Title: Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley
Artist: Boney M
Date of release: November the 27th, 1978
Description: ” Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley ” is by Boney M, the vocal group formed in 1976 by Frank Farian, the German record producer. Boney M consisted of Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell.
The song was written by Jester Hairston, Frank Farian ( who produced this track ) and Fred Jay. Jester Hairston was an American composer and songwriter, he was also an actor, arranger and choral conductor. As an actor he appeared in over 20 films, mostly small parts. He will be remembered though for writing ” Mary’s Boy Child ” in 1956.
Fred Jay ( Friedrich Alex Jacobson ) was an Austrian pop lyricist, Fred wrote the English lyrics for ” When a Child Is Born ” by Johnny Mathis and Rasputin, another popular Boney M song.
Frank Farian is a German record producer and songwriter. Frank trained as a cook before entering the music business, he is best known for founding Boney M and the controversial Milli Vanilli, who had their 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist withdrawn after he admitted they never sung their own songs.
” Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley ” was released on the 27th of November 1978 by record labels Hansa Records (FRG, West Germany ), Sire Records (USA) and Atlantic Records (AUS/UK).
The single appears on many Albums including Nightflight to Venus ( 1978 ), The Magic of Boney M. ( 1980 ) and Christmas Album ( 1981 ).
Jester Hairston originally wrote the song for a birthday party after a request by a friend. Written with a calypso rhythm, the song was originally titled ” He Pone and Chocolate Tea “, a pone being a baked or fried bread usually made of cornmeal. The song in its original form was never recorded.
The conductor of Schumann’s Hollywood Choir, Walter Schumann, asked Jester to write a new Christmas song to be performed by his choir, remembering the original song, Jester took his old song and completely re-wrote the lyrics.
Upon hearing the choir perform the song, Harry Belafonte asked for permission to record it. Harry took the song to the top of the UK chart in November 1957. His version of the song became the first single to sell a million in the UK, as of 2016 Harry Belafonte’s version has sold in excess of 1.19 million copies.
Boney M recorded their version in a hurry in November, the month of release. In their book 1000 UK Number One Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, one of the members of the group, Marcia Barrett, said of the song ” I always thought of Boney M as being put together by a spiritual force and we liked doing spiritual songs. when we did ‘ Mary’s Boy Child ‘ , we added a bit spontaneously at the end. As it worked we left it in “.
Due to the spontaneity, the Boney M version of the song is known as a medley of ” Mary’s Boy Child ” and ” Oh My Lord “.
” Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley ” was a commercial success for Boney M. In the United States the song peaked at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, it was to be the last of Boney M’s songs to chart there. Even though it had not reached higher, the medley is a favorite in the US during the holiday season with radio stations that temporarily change their airplay format to Christmas music.
In the United Kingdom ” Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord Medley ” entered the UK chart on the 2nd of December 1978 and peaked at Number One, it held the top slot for 4 weeks. The song spent 7 weeks in the top ten and a total of 8 weeks on the UK chart. As of November 2015, the single has notched up sales of 1.89 Million in the UK.
In Ireland the song entered the Irish Chart on the 23rd of November 1979 and reached Number One, it stayed on the chart there for 10 weeks.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 85
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Switzerland 1, Germany 1, Austria 3, Netherlands 2, Belgium 4, Sweden 1, Norway 2, Denmark 16, New Zealand 8, Ireland 1
Official Website: Frankfarian.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/BoneyM.de
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/BoneyM