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"Mary, Did You Know"


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Am I the only one who this song drives me crazy?  Like, I *WANT* to like it.  But especially when it's sung by a man, it just sounds insulting and man-splaining.  And also, I want to yell at the radio, "YES!!!!  Yes, she knew!  It's RIGHT THERE in the Magnificat in Luke 1: 46-55!!!"  

I shouldn't complain.  It's still better than "Christmas Shoes."  

But still.  

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I don't like it, though I never though of it differently with a male vs female singer. I just find it overly-dramatic which I generally don't love in any song. 

There are a lot of Christmas songs I dislike. But, fortunately, there are lots of good Christmas songs to like, so it works out!  🙂

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Nah, I love it! Love that song! I know it’s a bit cheesy and all, but it still gives me chills the first couple of times I hear it each Christmas season.

I don’t see it as thinking that Mary didn’t know, but more of sharing with her in the joy of knowing. Like if your kid opens his acceptance letter to Harvard and you’re both dancing around the table and you’re saying, “Son! You just got into HARVARD! Do you realize you got into HARVARD!?” and he’s all happy and excited and saying, “I know!! I know!!”

 

The song is more sedate than that (Mary isn’t dancing around a table), but that’s the idea behind it.  To me.

Edited by Garga
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1 minute ago, marbel said:

I don't like it, though I never though of it differently with a male vs female singer. I just find it overly-dramatic which I generally don't love in any song. 

There are a lot of Christmas songs I dislike. But, fortunately, there are lots of good Christmas songs to like, so it works out!  🙂

When it's sung by a woman, to me the vibe is less, "Did you actually know, intellectually?  Let me tell you about this baby you're carrying," and more rhetorical wonder at the whole process.  I really do feel differently about the song depending on who sings it.  

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1 minute ago, Garga said:

Nah, I love it! Love that song! I know it’s a bit cheesy and all, but it still gives me chills the first couple of times I hear it each Christmas season.

I don’t see it as thinking that Mary didn’t know, but more of sharing with her in the joy of knowing. Like if your kid opens his acceptance letter to Harvard and you’re both dancing around the table and you’re saying, “Son! You just got into HARVARD! Do you realize you got into HARVARD!?” and he’s all happy and excited and saying, “I know!! I know!!”

YES!  That's how I feel when it's sung by a woman.  But I always want to smack the radio when I hear a man singing it.  

 

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

YES!  That's how I feel when it's sung by a woman.  But I always want to smack the radio when I hear a man singing it.  

 

Ah! I see.  Ok...I’m not sure if you’ve now ruined it for me when it’s sung by a man.  😄

Next time I hear it on a radio sung by a man, I’ll report back and let you know if you’ve ruined Christmas for me. 🤪

Edited by Garga
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Just now, Garga said:

Ah! I see.  Ok...I’m not sure if you’ve now ruined it for me when it’s sung by a man or not!  😄

Next time I hear it on a radio sung by a man, I’ll report back and let you know if you’ve ruined Christmas for me. 🤪

Hope not.  Sorry!

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I always answer sarcastically, "Yes, she knows. An actual angel showed up and told her. I think she probably paid attention." It irks me. But I haven't noticed my response changing depending on the singer. I'll sing along with it (as I do most things), but I find it a silly, irritating song.

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1 minute ago, freesia said:

I love it. The first time I heard it it was sung by a teen girl. I cried. I prefer it sung by a girl. 

Yeah, when I've heard it sung by young girls, it really does give me chills and I find it wondrous.  

When it's sung by a middle aged man, I want to punch him.  Mansplaining the Magnificat to the Holy Mother....

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21 minutes ago, Terabith said:

When it's sung by a woman, to me the vibe is less, "Did you actually know, intellectually?  Let me tell you about this baby you're carrying," and more rhetorical wonder at the whole process.  I really do feel differently about the song depending on who sings it.  

Yes - I mean, it's not about "knowing" but KNOWING. I can "know" things without truly understanding all the reprucussions. 

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27 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Am I the only one who this song drives me crazy?  Like, I *WANT* to like it.  But especially when it's sung by a man, it just sounds insulting and man-splaining.  And also, I want to yell at the radio, "YES!!!!  Yes, she knew!  It's RIGHT THERE in the Magnificat in Luke 1: 46-55!!!"  

<snip>

 

21 minutes ago, Terabith said:

YES!  That's how I feel when it's sung by a woman.  But I always want to smack the radio when I hear a man singing it.  

 

 

3 minutes ago, Terabith said:

<snip>

When it's sung by a middle aged man, I want to punch him.  Mansplaining the Magnificat to the Holy Mother....

Do you get a lot of man-splaining in  your life?  LOL just kidding, but I can't help but notice how strong your feelings are on this! 🙂

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1 minute ago, marbel said:

 

 

Do you get a lot of man-splaining in  your life?  LOL just kidding, but I can't help but notice how strong your feelings are on this! 🙂

I actually really don't.  

But, I'm a woman with an M.Div from a seminary, so I have historically gotten a fair amount of theological man-splaining.  

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37 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Am I the only one who this song drives me crazy?  Like, I *WANT* to like it.  But especially when it's sung by a man, it just sounds insulting and man-splaining.  And also, I want to yell at the radio, "YES!!!!  Yes, she knew!  It's RIGHT THERE in the Magnificat in Luke 1: 46-55!!!"  

I shouldn't complain.  It's still better than "Christmas Shoes."  

But still.  

Nope, you aren't the only one. It's melodious, but YES OF COURSE SHE KNEW. 

ETA: Also, I don't care who sings it. It's a dumb song.

Edited by Ellie
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It's one of the songs that is a trigger for my seasonal depression. I think it's because being pregnant at Christmas was so amazing and special and I felt so close to Mary, which made getting sick Christmas night and losing the baby days afterwards even harder to deal with. I can handle most Christmas music fine (which is good, because I think every single kid I have in lessons this term wants to play Jingle Bells, 12 days of Christmas, and Joy to the World), but that one--it's almost as bad as the Coventry Carol. 

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3 hours ago, Terabith said:

Am I the only one who this song drives me crazy?  Like, I *WANT* to like it.  But especially when it's sung by a man, it just sounds insulting and man-splaining.  And also, I want to yell at the radio, "YES!!!!  Yes, she knew!  It's RIGHT THERE in the Magnificat in Luke 1: 46-55!!!"  

I shouldn't complain.  It's still better than "Christmas Shoes."  

But still.  

I dislike the song very much.  I agree.... I want to yell at the radio... "Well, Duh... yes she knew you idiot....Read Luke please."  

 

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Okay, so this may be way off base because I can't remember all the words right now, and it's Friday night and I'm lazy and don't want to look it all up. All that said, I think that while Mary knew how his conception came about, and many other things, I think the way it played out was unexpected. Jesus didn't do what people thought the Messiah was going to do. He wasn't a military leader like so many were expecting. His mission was a lot deeper. So in that way, Mary didn't really know how it was all going to play out.

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I hate it.

I have never heard the Christmas shoes one, but it doesn’t sound very appealing.

Other Christmas songs I hate:

Go Tell It On The Mountain.  So boring and insipid and childish

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Depressing.  I ALWAYS thought it was depressing, and then I finally saw the movie that it’s from and sure enough, it’s misery embodied in a Christmas song.

Not crazy about the Little Drummer Boy either, although I don’t hate it.

And I LOVE Christmas, and most Christmas music.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I like the song - I  have no preference over a male or female vocalist.

Yes, she knew the prophecies about the Savior, and she knew the baby she was bearing would grow up to fulfill all those prophecies - but I've come to appreciate there is a difference between intellectual understanding, and really knowing.  The differences between a written description, a postcard - and being there.  There are simply things you can read all the written descriptions in the world - and not understand until you actually experience it.

She knew he was going to be the Savior and save all the sons and daughters - but did she really understand what that meant?  how it would be accomplished?  That she would standby and watch,  and be powerless?  That's what the song is asking - I don't see it as condescending.    For it to be condescending would assume the writer of the song would have understood what was coming  in a future tense - instead of looking backwards.  The song is looking backwards - not forwards.

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20 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Am I the only one who's never heard this song? Or even knew it existed?

Same with Christmas Shoes.🤷‍♀️

 

I’m quite familiar with Mary Did You Know ( and I reallly like it) but I’m gonna have to Google Christmas Shoes.

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I really like this song, but I admit there are parts that don't make sense.

I almost envision this as an Easter song -- with John and Mary standing at the foot of the cross.  They are reminiscing about His life and John is filling in details about Christ's ministry.  "Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water..."

Edited by Junie
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I actually love this song.  I have always looked at it from more of a "did you understand" perspective.  She knew who he was but did she know how it was going to play out.  The best version of the song for me is by the a capella group Pentatonix.  I think it a stunning rendition that approaches the lyrics with a sense of awe and wonder.  

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3 hours ago, littlebug42 said:

I actually love this song.  I have always looked at it from more of a "did you understand" perspective.  She knew who he was but did she know how it was going to play out.  The best version of the song for me is by the a capella group Pentatonix.  I think it a stunning rendition that approaches the lyrics with a sense of awe and wonder.  

Same.  I thought it was more reflective for the audience than literally asking Mary if she knew something.  That really wouldn't make sense to me. So yes, I like the song. I think it is reflective on what the Christ Child's birth really means to the world.

 

I also like drummer boy. Even if not real,  I do think of the idea of coming to God with what we have is a good idea, even if what we have seems lame.

 

Plus, I can sing both of them which is always great. My favorite Christmas Carol is O Holy Night but my vocal range is very lacking for that one.

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10 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I like the song - I  have no preference over a male or female vocalist.

Yes, she knew the prophecies about the Savior, and she knew the baby she was bearing would grow up to fulfill all those prophecies - but I've come to appreciate there is a difference between intellectual understanding, and really knowing.  The differences between a written description, a postcard - and being there.  There are simply things you can read all the written descriptions in the world - and not understand until you actually experience it.

She knew he was going to be the Savior and save all the sons and daughters - but did she really understand what that meant?  how it would be accomplished?  That she would standby and watch,  and be powerless?  That's what the song is asking - I don't see it as condescending.    For it to be condescending would assume the writer of the song would have understood what was coming  in a future tense - instead of looking backwards.  The song is looking backwards - not forwards.

That’s how I view the song. It’s like, when an “ordinary” woman is pregnant with her first child and she tries to imagine what it will be like to have a baby. Someone may tell her, “you will love your child so much it will literally make your heart ache sometimes,” but you don’t really, truly get it until you have your own baby. (Presumably the same with adoption, but I haven’t experienced that - just didn’t want to leave out moms who have not been pregnant.) You intellectually know being a parent will change you dramatically and you intellectually know you are embarking on a wild ride, but you don’t really know until you are Mommy or Daddy to another person. 

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It is one of my favorite Christmas songs.   I don't overthink it, I just enjoy it.

Now that horrible Christmas Shoes is another matter.  That song is just horrible and depressing and needs to never be played ever again.  I turn the station when it comes on.

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10 hours ago, littlebug42 said:

I actually love this song.  I have always looked at it from more of a "did you understand" perspective.  She knew who he was but did she know how it was going to play out.  The best version of the song for me is by the a capella group Pentatonix.  I think it a stunning rendition that approaches the lyrics with a sense of awe and wonder.  

I LOVE the Pentatonix Christmas music. They are amazing.

7 hours ago, frogger said:

Same.  I thought it was more reflective for the audience than literally asking Mary if she knew something.  That really wouldn't make sense to me. So yes, I like the song. I think it is reflective on what the Christ Child's birth really means to the world.

 

I also like drummer boy. Even if not real,  I do think of the idea of coming to God with what we have is a good idea, even if what we have seems lame.

 

Plus, I can sing both of them which is always great. My favorite Christmas Carol is O Holy Night but my vocal range is very lacking for that one.

O Holy Night is a favorite. And I can hit all the notes so there is that....

 

So this is the song that we love to mock ever Christmas.

 

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18 hours ago, Terabith said:

Am I the only one who this song drives me crazy?  Like, I *WANT* to like it.  But especially when it's sung by a man, it just sounds insulting and man-splaining.  And also, I want to yell at the radio, "YES!!!!  Yes, she knew!  It's RIGHT THERE in the Magnificat in Luke 1: 46-55!!!"  

I shouldn't complain.  It's still better than "Christmas Shoes."  

But still.  

This thread reminded me of this video where Mary responds:


 

Edited by KungFuPanda
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15 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

 

Yes, she knew the prophecies about the Savior, and she knew the baby she was bearing would grow up to fulfill all those prophecies - but I've come to appreciate there is a difference between intellectual understanding, and really knowing. 

knew he was going to be the Savior and save all the sons and daughters - but did she really understand what that meant?  how it would be accomplished?  That she would standby and watch,  and be powerless? 

Exactly

13 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I like the Kathy Mattea version. 😬

Me too.

My favorite though, was hearing a young woman - late teens or very early twenties with an AMAZING voice sing it at church on Christmas Eve. Goosebumps. 

12 hours ago, littlebug42 said:

I actually love this song.  I have always looked at it from more of a "did you understand" perspective.  She knew who he was but did she know how it was going to play out.  

Right. She was given an overview, but she still had to "process" all that, in modern language, and even then, you might THINK you understand, but you really don't until you live it. 

5 hours ago, Quill said:

That’s how I view the song. It’s like, when an “ordinary” woman is pregnant with her first child and she tries to imagine what it will be like to have a baby. Someone may tell her, “you will love your child so much it will literally make your heart ache sometimes,” but you don’t really, truly get it until you have your own baby. (Presumably the same with adoption, but I haven’t experienced that - just didn’t want to leave out moms who have not been pregnant.) You intellectually know being a parent will change you dramatically and you intellectually know you are embarking on a wild ride, but you don’t really know until you are Mommy or Daddy to another person. 

YES!

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Christmas Carol is the country christmas song that makes me sob like an idiot if it comes on while I'm driving. I'm a sap. Christmas shoes I turn off to avoid depressing myself. I find "Do They Know it's Christmastime" to be very condescending. 

But the song I have a VISCERAL reaction to - gut clenching, reflexively covering my ears or reaching to turn it off if I can - is Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCarntey. The chorus HURTS MY BRAIN. I don't know why, but if you ever wanted to torture me, play that song. UGH. Makes me want to puke. Nothing to do with the lyrics, it's just the sound of it. I'm sure there is some mathematical scientific reason. 

LOVE Little Drummer boy both for the sound of it but mostly for the idea of feeling you have nothing worth giving to the King, and then saying forget what everyone else is doing, this is me, this is what I have, and just doing your darn best - whatever that is or however it looks - doing it with all your heart and soul for the sake of Jesus. And how that makes Jesus smile. 

And O Holy Night, depending on who sings it - there is a part where the singer says, "fall on your knees" and when done "right" it guts me. I always try to sing along, but end up sobbing through a lot of it, lol. 

Rock Around the Clock makes me dance - even when I was working as a receptionist if it came on I was dancing in my seat, lol. 

And for traditional carols:

I LOVE O Come Emmanuel for the sound of it - especially the way Israel sounds. It's satisfying to me in an auditory way. 

For sheer exultation and the lyrics Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is my favorite. I get all happy cry singing it on Christmas and feel I could literally float out of my pew as we sing, 'God and sinners reconciled" and "Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die"

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