Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, The

Program Notes:

Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield’s a cappella arrangement of this beloved, upbeat carol from the Caribbean layers the arrival of the angels, shepherds, and wise men in a jumbled, ecstatic party atmosphere.

Conductor Notes:

Let the zany and fantastical imagination of Stephen Hatfield loose on an SSAA arrangement of a Traditional Trinidad Folk Carol and one ends up with a with a clever, calypso flavoured Christmas tune. Full of energy and a strong rhythmic pulse, the arrangement explores a Caribbean style that uses independent melodic lines superimposing to build rich melodic textures. Every section of the choir is highlighted within the composition and every section gets its turn to lead. The major difficulty is keeping the tempo (quarter note=138) steady as well as resisting the urge to “oversing” or “overdeliver the tune”. Hatfield is very specific in his instructions: “As springy as the surface of a freshly baked cake, especially when the dynamics are soft”. This piece is not meant to serve as a “novelty number” in a concert; what it is, is a welcome, upbeat addition to a seasonal programme. (Note by Diane Loomer)

Composer / Arranger Notes:

I have always thought there was a club in heaven where they play old calpyso for eternity, and I hope that my arrangement of this Trinidad

Carol might someday be used for an angelic singalong where “Gloria Deo” becomes “Day-O, Day-O.” Rhythmic drive and melodic polyphony combine to create interlocking ostinati that showcase every section in the choir, which is one of the reasons singers have taken to this chart. Intensely tuneful, tastefully inventive (if I do say so) and a lot of fun to sing.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.





The Virgin Mary had a baby boy,
and they said that His name was Jesus.
Refrain: He come from the glory,
He come from the glorious kingdom.
Oh yes, believah.

The angels sang for the baby boy,
and they said that His name was Jesus.
In excelsis Gloria Deo.
First the shepherds saw the boy,
the shepherds saw the boy
and then they said His name was Jesus.

The wisemen came in to see Him,
you know the wisemen came in to see Him,
and they said that His name was Jesus.