Mary's Prayer

Album: Meet Danny Wilson (1987)
Charted: 3 23
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  • Danny Wilson is made up of three brothers from Dundee, Scotland. They got their name from Frank Sinatra's character in the film Meet Danny Wilson. The group broke up in 1990.
  • This song was featured on the soundtrack for the film There's Something About Mary. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Dundee, Scotland, for above 2

Comments: 21

  • Anonymous from Clevedon Nth SomersetWhen I hear this song I think of my sister who died in April 1963 age 20. I’m now in my 80’s but still miss her.
  • Marilyn B from KentuckyAbsolutely love this song! One of those that hits the heart. I could repeatedly play this! Awesome singers
  • Tom Banks from UkThe band were originally called "Spencer Tracy" but had to change it after objections from the estate of the late actor.
  • Dave from Kemnay Aberdeenshire ( Formerly From Dundee)Why is the drummer a shadow on the Mary’s prayer video while the other 3 band members are properly imaged as human beings?
  • Kaz from WalesI listened to this song countless times during my difficult seperation
  • Jonesy from Mandurah Western AustraliaI love the comments made about this song. For years (before and during marriage) I would listen to it and think of a girl that I knew back in Primary School in 1981 ... she was beautiful in my eyes (even though we were 11) ... the phrase 'blessed is the millionaire who shares your wedding day' affected me deeply everytime I heard it, as I knew that she would probably be happily married with children etc ... fast forward to 2021 ... we are now engaged and in love. We met in 2016 after my divorce ... imagine finding her after 35 years later, single after all of these years ? I now listen to this song and realize how lucky I am ! :)
  • Chris from Santa Ana, CaI'd never heard this song until I came across it on an episode of Professor of Rock on Youtube (, if you watch the episode the songwriter/singer will answer all your questions. In any event, such a powerful, beautiful, emotionally stirring song.
  • Chrisalive from VirginiaI agree with all of the comments, but can add some detail and nuance. There are Catholic references throughout the song - 10 Hail Marys, her name being Mary, etc. But No one anywhere I've seen has caught on to this:

    If you want the fruit to fall, You have to give the tree a shake - the "fruit" being her purity (virginity), "give the tree a shake" - make a move on her
    But if you shake the tree too hard, The bough is gonna break - he moved too fast, wanted too much - to take her virginity before marriage, and she was hurt and pushed him away
    And if I can't reach the top of your tree, Mary you can blow me up there - "top of your tree" meaning reach her level of virtue
    What I wouldn't give to be, When I was Mary's prayer - he wishes he had had that level of virtue when she loved him - a willingness to respect her purity and wait for marriage.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1987 {September 26th} the Scottish group Danny Wilson performed "Mary's Prayer" on the ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Mary's Prayer" was at position #44 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, three weeks earlier it had peaked at #23 {for 1 week} and it spent twenty weeks on the Top 100...
    The following year on April 24th, 1988 "Mary's Prayer" peaked at #3* for two weeks on the United Kingdom's Official Top 100 Singles chart...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the two weeks "Mary's Prayer" was at #3, for both those weeks the #2 record was "Heart" by the Pet Shop Boys and at #1 was "Theme from S-Express" by S-Express...
  • Jason from Kennesaw, GaIf I had to live out the rest of my life on a deserted island and I had a 'yet to be developed Solar Ipod' that would outlast me... AND I could only have 50 songs or less on said Ipod... Mary's Prayer would be one of those songs!

    I don't know why, but over the past 3 decades or so, I always seemed to gravitate towards the 'Underdog' song/band and I think it's safe to say the band Danny Wilson would be considered a solid Underdog band. Although this song has been mentioned on many One Hit Wonder lists that's I've read, it truly is a special song to me (and a hit is still a hit, regardless if it's just the one hit a band could muster). I consider this song to be a classic in the sense that it doesn't use a lot of the 80's type of instruments/sound effects (hand claps, etc.), although it's a little too heavy on the synthesizer at times. From start to finish, it just simply flows quite nicely. It's nice that it starts out showcasing the lead singer's voice and then it picks up the pace and climaxes to a nice near all-vocal break about 3/4 of the way through - and then quietly finishes out with a nice piano riff. The lyrics are quite interesting and easy to understand (clarify: easy to hear correctly, but really 'understanding' their true meaning is still up for debate... at least as of late 2011). I personally think it's a song simply about 'regret' from the lead singer's point of view in regards to a past girfriend, Mary. And speaking of lead singer, this guy's voice sounds incredible - too bad there weren't many other songs that were popular with him as the lead singer - he really has a nice range and tone.

    As with all songs, everyone seems to be able to correlate a time in their lives when they first heard a particular and think back to perhaps a simpler time... and this is one of those songs - at least for me. It's really a timeless song in the soundtrack of my own life and one song that will always make me smile and sigh when I get the rare chance of hearing it, especially on local radio. I was in my first few years of college when this song hit the charts. It just reminds of some of the chances I'd blown with one or two of the 'right girls' - you know, let them slip through my hands due to my own dumb mistakes or too much pride. I think about how those things (that didn't happen)
    - how they changed my life... but I ultimately think that I'm the better for it. Actually, I KNOW I'm the better for it... happily married now to the RIGHT woman, for sure. But it's nice to reminisce (sp?) back to those simpler days - and 'Mary's Prayer' just does that for me, every single time I hear those words and that haunting music... just priceless.

    Music really is life. And life... well, it's just complicated but we wouldn't have it any other way. And really, in the absolute end... your life becomes (or ends) exactly the way it should've been all along.
  • Ian from Toronto, OnGreat song. But heard it was originally written mostly by some guy in Canada in 83 or 84. The Mary refers to a friend of his going through a tough time then.
  • David from Liverpool, United KingdomAn amazing song and simple too. I think its meaning is simple and straightforward. Gary uses Catholic imagery but it's not a religious song. He loved Mary and had it all going for him, but he messed up. Entirely his own fault and now he regrets the way he was. I relate to this so well as when I was young I had a beautiful, intelligent girlfriend. Unfortunately she had an idiot of a boyfriend (me). I hope she found the love she deserved. I messed up BIG TIME. I think that's what this song is saying. :)
  • Kevin from Dundee, United Kingdomthis song is about their grandmother . mary clark. fact .
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! Is this song about a song named Mary or the Lord's mother.I loved the music video to it,too.
  • George from Dundee, United KingdomThis song is about a girl named Mary who used to pray that the singer would love her, but in whom the singer was not interested. Later, the singer realizes that Mary was a great woman and that someone will be a "millionare" when they marry her. The refrain is that he laments the days gone by when he was the subject of "Mary's prayer."
  • Will from Easton, PaA great song that I could listen to over and over and never get tired of. Should've been much more popular than it was. Beautiful!!
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaIt's a beautiful song, but I'm not sure what it's about. Is Mary a woman he's in love with, or is she the mother of Christ? At times, there seems to be a Christian message.
  • Chris from Cumming, Gasong never gets old to me . one of the best songs ever written
  • John from Midlands, EnglandI love this song and would like to know what the song was really about,perhaps sang about an ex partner eh!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesDanny Wilson were actually quite big in the UK, they had two massive hits in "Mary's Parayer" (1988) and joyous follow-up "(The Second Summer
    Of) Love" (1989)
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiathis is a great song........ one of those songs that deserved greatness, but for some reason got lost in The Abyss
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