Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord

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"Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord"
Single by Boney M
Released November 27, 1978
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded November 1978
Genre Euro Disco
Length

5:29 (7" version) 5:40 (French 7" version)
5:22 (Spanish 7" version)

6:18 (12" version)
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Sire Records (USA)
Atlantic Records (AUS)
Writer(s) Jester Hairston, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Lorin
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M singles chronology
"Rasputin"
(1978)
"Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord"
(1978)
"Painter Man"
(1979)
"Rivers of Babylon" (Remix) /
"Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (Remix)"
Single by Boney M.
from the album
Greatest Hits of All Times - Remix '88
Released October 1988
Format 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Genre R&B, Disco
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Bang Bang Lulu"
(1986)
"Rivers of Babylon" (Remix) /
"Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (Remix)
(1988)
"Megamix"
(1988)
"Christmas Mega Mix"
Single by Boney M.
from the album The Most Beautiful Christmas Songs of the World
Released November 1992
Format 7" single, CD single
Genre R&B, Disco
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Stories"
(1990)
"Christmas Mega Mix"
(1992)
"Mega Mix"
(1992)

"Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" [nb 1] is a 1978 Christmas single for Boney M., a cover of Harry Belafonte's 1956 hit, put in medley with the new song "Oh My Lord" (Farian / Jay). The single was recorded in a hurry early November, included in the group's live set and rushed out at the end of the month, topping the UK Singles Chart for four weeks[1] and became Christmas number one, spending eight weeks in the charts. It was the second single for the group in the UK's all-time best selling singles list. The song was later included in the group's Christmas Album, 1981.

In the United States, the track reached #85 in the Billboard Hot 100, Boney M's last of four singles to chart; despite its chart position, the medley is an airplay favorite in the United States during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season on radio stations which change to temporary all-Christmas music formats.

Single[edit]

A promotional gatefold single (15 816 AT) backed with "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" (from Nightflight to Venus) was released shortly before the commercial single which had a new track on the B-side "Dancing in the Streets". Different edits were issued in various countries. In Spain and France, the 3rd verse (Now Joseph and his wife Mary came to Bethlehem that night ...) had been cut out, the French mix of "Oh My Lord" was a different mix. A 4:29 edit surfaced on the 1980 compilation The Magic of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits, possibly the originally intended single edit. The full-length 6:18 mix appeared as the B-side of the 12" single "Dancing in the Streets".[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

Two music videos were produced to promote the single.[2]

One featured the band in a white room wearing white furry coats. Whilst the second featured the band once again dressed in white and also featured a nativity scene.

"Dancing in the Streets"[edit]

After Christmas, Hansa Records flipped the single and released it with "Dancing in the Streets" on the A-side. The non-album track was sung solely by the group's producer Frank Farian, singing the chorus in multi-dubbed falsetto vocals and singing the verse in his deep voice. The mix that came out on the B-side of "Mary's Boy Child" in the UK and US was an early version with shriller falsetto vocals and no answer-back chorus vocals in the verses. Despite the lack of success, the track was chosen as the one to launch Boney M. in the USA which remained the only territory the group had yet to conquer. The group did a promotional tour in April 1979 and also lip-synced the track at important TV shows such as Soul Train but the single stalled at #105 in the Pop charts and fared only slightly better in the R&B charts (#75).

Releases[edit]

7" Singles

  • "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (5:29) / "Dancing in the Streets" (Farian) (3:57)(Hansa Int. 100 075-100, Germany)
  • "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (5:29) / "Dancing in the Streets" (3:43) (Atlantic K 11221, UK) (Sire 1036, USA)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (3:57) / "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (5:29) (Hansa Int. 100 075-100, Germany)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (3:57) / "Motherless Child" (Farian / Mitchell) (4:33) (Durium DE 3047, Italy)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (3:55) / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" (5:01) (Sire 1038, USA)

12" Single

  • "Dancing in the Streets" (6:18) / "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" (6:18) (Hansa Int. 600 009-212, Germany)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (6:18) / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" (5:01) (Sire SRD 1040, USA)

1988 remix[edit]

"Rivers of Babylon" / "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" is a 1988 remix single by German band Boney M., issued to launch the group's reunion, having been split since their 10th anniversary, 1986. The double-A-side single contained new mixes of the band's two very most successful single releases ever. Although their remix album sold well, the single failed to chart.

"Christmas Mega Mix"[edit]

"Christmas Mega Mix" is a 1992 remix single by German band Boney M., issued to launch a new edition of their Christmas album, The Most Beautiful Christmas Songs of the World. The Christmas Mega Mix was in fact just another name for a new remix of "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord". In the UK, the new mix was put on the B-side of their "Megamix" single.

7" Single

  • Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord (Radio Version) - 3:58 / Zion's Daughter - 3:50 (Hansa 74321 11933 7-100, Germany)

CD

  • 1. Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord (Radio Version) - 3:58 / 2. Zion's Daughter - 3:50 / 3. When A Child Is Born - 3:19 / 4. Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord (Long Version) - 5:09

(Hansa 74321 11933 2-211, Germany)

Covers[edit]

The song was covered by Glee in the episode "Previously Unaired Christmas" from the fifth season.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The 2 part title separated by an oblique denotes the song on one side of the single, not, as it is often used to indicate a double A side

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 360. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord - Boney M". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart
UK number-one single
9 December 1978
(for four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Y.M.C.A." by Village People