Christmas Classic: Mary Did You Know




The Author: Mark Lowry born on June 24, 1958, he is an American singer, comedian, and songwriter. who is best known for co-writing the song "Mary, Did You Know?" and for being a reoccurring member of the Gaither Vocal Band


The Inspiration: Mark is a 1980 graduate of Liberty University (Founded by Televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr.) In 1984 Falwell reached out to him about writing a song for the schools 'Living Christmas tree' program.

In a 2014 article with the The St. Augustine Record; Lowry recalls sitting down to write the lyrics and a conversation with his mother "I remember she said, ‘If anyone on earth knew for sure that Jesus was virgin born - Mary knew!’ That was a profound statement that stuck with me."

The lyrics would follow him for the next several years till in 1991, he would ask his friend, Buddy Greene, to write music for his poem. In just two weeks the music was written and they rushed it off to Michael English who was preparing his next album. He would become the first person of many artists to record “Mary, Did You Know?”


The Charts: This song has reached the charts after being covered by several artists in many different genres


Michael English - reached Number 6 on CCM Magazine's Adult Contemporary Chart

Kenny Rogers & Wynonna Judd - peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1997.

Cee lo Green - appeared on the US R&B Songs chart at number 22, and peaked three weeks later at number 9.

Pentatonix - The song both debuted and peaked at No. 26 on the weekly Billboard Hot 100



Mis-understanding


Many do not realize that Mark wrote the song in the mindset of asking Mary (Mother of Christ) some very rhetorical questions. Understanding that Mary obviously knew what the Angel told her before becoming pregnant, but could she have imagined all of the incredible things he would go to do before he ascended back to heaven. All the miracles and blessings that would come from the baby she held, the baby who relied on her for so long. That he might actually be the God of all creation, come to earth to pay a price not even she could ever pay.


Bringing the song back onto his set list


For years, Lowry refused to sing the song, publicly, thinking it was beyond his ability and musical comfort zone. However, one night during a Gaither concert in Detroit, an audience member yelled out, “Mark – Sing ‘Mary Did You Know’!” Lowry kindly refused, “Well, I don’t sing that,” to which the crowd responded with cheers and chants encouraging him to try. Lowry indulged the audience with an impromptu, a’cappella rendition. “Since then,” Lowry said, “I’ve sung it every night.”