Monday, December 10, 2012

Mary's Boy Child Written By Jester Hairston

From The Examiner --  A most notable contributor to the composition and preservation African American spirituals is Jester Hairston (1901-2000). As composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor and actor, Hairston, the grandson of slaves, dedicated his life to preserving Negro Spirituals, and the history behind them. Most recently he is probably best remembered for his role as Rollie Forbes, in the 1980s sitcom AMEN.

Hairston appeared in more than 50 films, including In The Heat of the Night, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and Lilies of the Field for which he composed the song Amen, which is also on our Top 10 list of Christmas Spirituals. In addition, Hairston wrote music scores for almost 30 films.

Mary's Boy Child
In 1956, he wrote Mary's Boy Child which was recorded that same year by both Harry Belfonte and Mahalia Jackson, and has since been performed by multiple recording artists. The song tells the familiar Christmas story in a melody reminiscent of the music Hairston wanted the world to remember; the Negro Spiritual. (source: The Examiner)

"Mary's Boy Child" is a 1956 Christmas song, written by Jester Hairston. With its religious content, it is also widely performed as a Christmas carol.

It was first recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1956, for his album An Evening with Belafonte. An edited version was subsequently released as a single,[1] reaching #1 on the UK charts in 1957. In 1962 the full-length version was added to a reissue of Belafonte's previously released album To Wish You a Merry Christmas. The song was also recorded by Mahalia Jackson in 1956 but titled "Mary's Little Boy Child". (source: Wikipedia)

Mary's Boy Child

Long time ago in Bethlehem
So the Holy Bible say
Mary's Boy Child, Jesus Christ
Was born on Christmas Day

Hark now, hear the angels say
New king born today
And man will live forever more,
Because of Christmas Day

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
They saw a bright new shining star
And heard a choir from heaven sing
The music came from afar


Now Joseph and his wife Mary
Came to Bethlehem that night
They found no place to bear her Child
Not a single room was in sight
By and by they found a little nook
In a stable all forlorn
And in a manger cold and dark
Mary's little Boy Child was born

Final Refrain:
Trumpets sound and angels sing
Listen to what they say
That man will live forevermore
Because of Christmas Day

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