Recently, I was listening to an old broadcast of “American Top 40” with Casey Kasem (remember that?), and he was counting down the top hits of 1974. Yes, 1974. When I found the station, Casey was the mid-80’s section of the countdown … and there it was …
Coming in at number 86 on the year-long countdown was … “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Yes … “that” Lord’s Prayer, put to music and recorded by Sister Janet Mead.
Hold on … That’s not all:
The song reached # 3 on the Australian Charts, and … The song became an international hit record …
Yes …an international hit record.
Hold on … That’s not all:
It sold three million copies worldwide, reaching at the top of the “pop charts” in nations like Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and the United States.
Yes … “that” United States.
The song entered Billboard’s Top 100 charts on February 24, 1974, was on the charts for 13 weeks, and reached # 4 on the charts in April, 1974, during “Holy Week,” the week before Easter Sunday. The record also reached # 2 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. “The Lord’s Prayer” was a certified “Gold Record” in the United States, meaning sales of over One Million copies. The single earned her a Grammy Award nomination.
The single was the very first Australian recording to sell over one million copies in the United States.
Plus … this:
It also became the only song to hit the Top 10 in which the entire lyrical content originated from the words of the Bible. More specifically, it is the only Top 10 hit whose lyrics were attributed to Jesus Christ.
Janet Meade was (and is) an Australian Catholic nun. She taught music at Saint Aloysius College where the original music video for “The Lord’s Prayer” was filmed. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia. When she was 17, she formed a rock band to provide music for the weekly Mass at her local church. She studied piano at the Adelaide Conservatorium before joining the Sisters of Mercy order and became a music teacher at local Catholic schools.
Mead began making professional recordings of her music for schools and churches in 1973. Later in 1973, she traveled to Sydney for a recording session with Festival Records, produced by Martin Erdman. Originally wanted as a “B” side, “The Lord’s Prayer” became an international hit record. Mead donated her share of the royalties to charity.
In 2004, Mead received the Yamaha Golden Gospel Award in recognition of her services to Australian Christian music.
I just checked “Billboard’s Top 100” for the week of April 13, 1974, and “The Lord’s Prayer” is listed as # 4.
I know you are curious, so here goes:
At # 3 on the charts, “TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)” by MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees
# 2: “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede
# 1: “Bennie And The Jets” by Elton John
As I look at the charts for that week, I see … “moving up 7 notches this week, up to # 20 on the charts is … ‘Tubular Bells’ by Mike Oldfield … the theme for the movie “The Exorcist.”
It would be so easy to do a “then vs. now” commentary, but, I don’t think I need to.
We decided to share this particular video of the song, as it has a lot of photos of Janet Meade, and some of the record labels which released the singles.
Usually, we add the words to the song we are featuring.
Don’t think we have to, on this one.
Please enjoy Sister Janet Meade and her hit recording of
“The Lord’s Prayer.”