In the rush of Christmas shopping, Christmas dinner, and opening presents, sometimes we lose perspective on what Christmas is really about. We listen to songs like “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town”, and “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” and get so caught up in the excitement of the presents and everything else that Christmas brings. While all of these are great songs and have fantastic lyrics and get us in the cheerful spirit, they just don’t bring out the true meaning of Christmas for me, personally. Christmas means different things to different people, and music has a way of symbolizing those things. For me, the song that gives me a reality check is “Mary Did You Know”, written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. The composition of this song, I think, is absolutely incredible. The lyrics, the music, everything is just a work of art. The lyrics are so powerful and touching. The first time I heard the song I was moved.
The words to “Mary Did You Know” were written in 1984 by Mark Lowry. When his pastor asked him to write song for the Live Christmas Tree presentation, he began writing the lyrics. While working on this project, Lowry began to think about what it would have been like to be Jesus’ mother. Buddy Greene wrote the music to the song a few years later. On January 1, 1992 Michael English featured the song on his album. He was the first recording artist to debut this song. Since then, there have been many different artists who have performed it, both instrumentally and vocally, including Donny Osmond, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Clay Aiken, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, and Kathy Mattea, just to name a few. All of these artists did a phenomenal job singing this song, but one really stood out to me.
The style in which a performer sings a song affects the power that it has over the listener. I have listened to a lot of different versions of this song, but the rendition that has had the greatest effect on me is by Rascal Flatts (yes, I’m a country girl). The way that this band performs this song is absolutely inspiring! The piano in the background gives the song a very soft, yet powerful feel. The tone of their voices and the emotion they have when singing it is so pure. Then when they add the choir in the background, it makes the honesty of the song that much more evident. I don’t believe this song was ever recorded in a studio, but performed at a live Christmas Concert. It truly does remind me of what Christmas means to me. When I heard their take of the song for the first time, I got goose bumps; the kind that you can only get when something is just that beautiful.
– written by MacKayla Hunter
MacKayla Hunter is a 15 year old singer/songwriter from Idaho. Her newest EP release Bitter and Sweet reflects her passion for singing and song writing, by reaching into her soul through the pages of her journal. Visit MacKayla Hunter at www.mackaylahunter.com