Mary's Boy Child – Oh My Lord

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"Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord"
Boney M. - Mary's Boy Child (1978).jpg
Single by Boney M.
ReleasedNovember 27, 1978
Format7" single, 12" single
RecordedNovember 1978
GenreEuro disco, Christmas
Length5:43 (7" version)
5:40 (French 7" version)
5:22 (Spanish 7" version)
6:18 (12" version)
LabelHansa Records (FRG)
Sire Records (USA)
Atlantic Records (AUS/UK)
Songwriter(s)Jester Hairston, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Hela 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)"
Boney M. - Rivers Of Babylon - Remix '88 (1988 single).jpg
Single by Boney M.
from the album Greatest Hits of All Times – Remix '88
ReleasedOctober 1988
Format7" single, 12" single, CD single
GenreR&B, disco
LabelHansa 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"
Boney M. - Christmas Megamix (1992 single).jpg
Single by Boney M.
from the album The Most Beautiful Christmas Songs of the World
ReleasedNovember 1992
Format7" single, CD single
GenreR&B, disco
LabelHansa 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 by 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 in 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 number 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. It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and has sold 1.89 million as of November 2015.[2]

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 third verse (Now Joseph and his wife Mary came to Bethlehem that night ...) was excised, while the French mix of "Oh My Lord" was a different mix. 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.[3] One featured the band in a white room wearing white furry coats, while the second featured the band once again dressed in white with 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 number 105 on the Pop chart and fared only slightly better on the R&B chart (number 75).

Releases[edit]

7" singles

  • "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" – 5:43 / "Dancing in the Streets" (Farian) – 3:57 (Hansa Int. 100 075-100, Germany)
  • "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord" – 5:43 / "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" – 5:43 (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)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1978-79) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 85
Chart (2017) Peak
position
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[14] 89
Chart (2018) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 26
Chart (2018) Peak
position
Hungary (Single Top 40)[16] 28
Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[17] 56

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[18] Gold 35,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[19] Platinum 90,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[20] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[21] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Platinum 1,000,000^
Summaries
Benelux 200,000[23]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 52

Covers[edit]

The song was covered by Glee in the episode "Previously Unaired Christmas" from the fifth season. It was covered by the Australian pop band The Eclectics featuring Jared Lerner. It was covered by Johnny Mathis in 1982. It was covered by Anne Murray in 1988.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The two-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. ^ Myers, Justin (November 29, 2015). "Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas songs revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord - Boney M". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "Swisscharts.com – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD". Swiss Singles Chart.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD". VG-lista.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD". Swiss Singles Chart.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – BONEY M. – MARY'S BOY CHILD / OH MY LORD". Singles Top 100.
  12. ^ "Official Charts: MARY'S BOY CHILD". UK Singles Chart
  13. ^ "Boney M Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Boney M Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Official Charts: MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD". UK Singles Chart
  16. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  17. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #557". auspOp. 28 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2020 Singles". Aria Charts. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Danish single certifications – Boney M – Mary's Boy Child". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Boney M – Mary's Boy Child" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved July 13, 2019. Enter Mary's Boy Child in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  21. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Boney M – Mary's Boy Child". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  22. ^ "British single certifications – Boney M – Mary's Boy Child". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 13, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Mary's Boy Child in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  23. ^ Hoos, William (20 January 1979). "Promotion Ploys Intrigue Labels In Netherlands". Billboard. p. 94. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]