Ma Baker

Album: Love for Sale (1977)
Charted: 2 96

Songfacts®:

  • Although "Ma Baker" is a typical Boney M song, unlike "Daddy Cool" the lyrics are not totally meaningless because it is based on a real person. Kate Barker, born Arizona Clark, married her husband George in 1892 and bore him four sons who became gangsters in the fashion of Bonny & Clyde and John Dillinger.

    Like many of the crime figures from this era - on both sides of the law - her life has become the stuff of legend. In the song she is portrayed in similar fashion, in particular as the leader of the Barker-Karpis gang, in reality though she was more of an accessory to her sons' crimes. Along with her son Fred, she was killed by the FBI near Ocklawaha, Florida in January 1935. Some 1500 rounds of ammunition were said to have been fired in what was the longest-ever FBI shootout.
  • "Ma Baker" was written by the team of Frank Farian, George Reyam and Fred Jay; it was released in the UK on the Atlantic label backed by "Still I'm Sad." Fred Jay, who wrote the lyric, was living in Germany but had spent many years in America, where he heard the Ma Baker story. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • The contributions of Bill Swisher as the Radio Announcer and Linda Blake as Ma Baker were not credited. Swisher was Boney M producer Frank Farian's American friend who was a soldier in Germany at the time; he was later used on "Rasputin." Blake was Swisher's wife.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Intentionally Atrocious

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.