Song of the Day #4,582: ‘O-o-h Child’ – Five Stairsteps

Commenter Amy named ‘O-o-h Child’ by the Five Stairsteps to her list of favorite songs, and listening to this magnificent track now makes me regret not placing it on mine.

I remember the soul classic best from the poignant scene in 1991’s Boyz N the Hood when Furious and Tre come home from a fishing trip to see Doughboy and Chris getting arrested. Twenty-three years later, it was used to much different effect in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Five Stairsteps released ‘O-o-h Child’ in 1970 as the B-side the their cover of The Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence,’ but it was this song that wound up striking a nerve and reaching the Top Ten of Billboard’s Hot 100.

As many times as I’ve heard and enjoyed this track, it wasn’t until watching the video today that I realized the opening verse is sung by a woman. For some reason, that voice always struck me as coming from a man.

But no, it is Alohe Burke, the oldest sibling in a family affair that also includes brothers Keni, Dennis, James, and Clarence Jr. They all share vocals in this celebration of hope and perseverance that seems particularly fitting the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

[Verse 1]
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get brighter
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get brighter

[Chorus]
Some day, yeah
We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter

[Verse 2]
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna be easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get be brighter
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna be easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get be brighter

[Chorus]
Some day, yeah
We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter

[Outro]
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get brighter
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things’ll get brighter
Right now, right now
(You just wait and see how things are gonna be)

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,582: ‘O-o-h Child’ – Five Stairsteps

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    While recently listening to this song as part of Amy’s top 35 playlist, we similarly noted its present day poignancy and relevance as we move beyond the darkness of 2020 to a more hopeful year, which I feel confident begins tomorrow.

  2. Peg says:

    Definitely it is a perfect song for now ❤️

  3. Amy says:

    Thank you for featuring this poignant song today, as we are all feeling the hope of a much brighter some day. It was its appearance in Boyz N The Hood that sparked my adoration for this song, though I’m sure I had heard it before that film. I certainly had never HEARD it. Now it is one of my go to songs whenever I need to be reminded that things will get easier. Needless to say, I’ve played it a lot these past several years. 🙂

  4. Maddie says:

    This is such a powerful song and I should probably go watch Boyz N The Hood because I still haven’t seen that all the way through. I blame my mother. 🙂

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