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Mary's Boy Child

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Jester Hairston

Jester Hairston (arr. Philip Sparke)

General Info

Year: 1956 / 2003
Duration: c. 4:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: De Haske
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $92.00   |   Score Only (print) - $23.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bongos
  • Claves
  • Glockenspiel
  • Maracas


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Philip Sparke has written gentle calypso treatment of this wonderful holiday tune. Also known as Mary Had A Baby Boy, the light-hearted style of this traditional melody will be familiar to many.

- Program Note from publisher

Mary's Boy Child is a 1956 Christmas song, written by Jester Hairston. It is widely performed as a Christmas carol. Walter Schumann, at the time conducting Schumann's Hollywood Choir, asked Hairston to write a new Christmas song for his choir. Hairston remembered the calypso rhythm from his 1956 birthday song He Pone and Chocolate Tea, and he wrote new lyrics for it.

Harry Belafonte heard the song being performed by the choir and sought permission to record it. It reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, and has since sold over 1.19 million copies there.

- Program Note adapted from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer