All Love the Song ‘Mary Did You Know’ at Christmas, But Do You Know the Story Behind It?

Story Behind Mary Did You Know Song

We all love hearing the popular song at Christmas, but do you know the story behind Mary Did You Know? Have you ever wondered who wrote ‘Mary Did You Know' or why? The song stands as a poignant testament to the power of music in conveying profound spiritual truths.

The Story Behind ‘Mary Did You Know?'

Mark Lowry wrote the lyrics for ‘Mary Did You Know?' and they were based on the spark of an idea he had while working on a project for a Christian University in Virginia. Mark Lowry is a minister and comedian and was a member of the Gaither Vocal Band.

The song invites listeners to explore the depths of Mary’s understanding as the mother of Jesus as Mark dove deep into the Gospels and pondered what Mary might have thought about. The questions that arose in his mind were profound expressions of motherhood and being the mother of our Savior. These thoughts are eloquently woven into the song’s lyrics and also explore whether Mary comprehended the extraordinary destiny of her newborn son.

What Inspired Mark Lowry to Write the Song ‘Mary Did You Know?'

When he began to write the lyrics of the song, Mark said, "As my mind went back to the manger scene, I began to think about the power, authority, and majesty she cradled in her arms. Those little lips were the same lips that had spoken worlds into existence. All of those things were contained in the young child lying quietly on her bosom. Even now, he was the very one who had given life to his mother, Mary." What an incredible perspective we have of Mary in this song!

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Mark also shared with Kirk Cameron on TBN, "If the Lord set me down and said, ‘"Mark you can leave one thing behind,'" I would've chosen that song because I believed it." He humorously added, "I've not done this twice. I'm a one-hit wonder and this is it. I tell everybody in my concerts I end with this song because when you have one hit, you better end with it.

While chatting with Kirk, Mark also shared his journey in creating such a beautiful and profound song that has captured the hearts of Christians around the world for the last three decades. Known for his comedic talents and his association with the Gaither Vocal Band, Mark reveals a lesser-known facet of his creativity in crafting the lyrics for ‘Mary Did You Know?'

What Year Was ‘Mary Did You Know Written?

Mark Lowry wrote ‘Mary Did You Know?' in 1984. His diverse talents extend beyond humor to the realm of songwriting. His journey into the creation of this timeless piece began when he was tasked with writing the program for The Living Christmas Tree at Liberty University.

But it wasn't until 1991 that Mark asked his friend Buddy Greene, a renowned southern gospel songwriter who was touring with the Gaither Vocal Band that year, to set the lyrics to music.

Who Sang ‘Mary Did You Know' Originally?

The song was first sung by Mark's friend and Gaither Vocal Band, Michael English, before it took on a life of its own through other popular singers like Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire, and Pentatonix and became the song we all cherish during the Christmas season.

Ultimately, “Mary Did You Know” invites listeners to ponder the mysteries of faith and reflect on the profound nature of the Christmas story. As we continue to sing and contemplate the questions posed in this modern Christmas classic, we find ourselves drawn into the age-old narrative of Mary’s pivotal role in the miracle of Jesus, making ‘Mary Did You Know' a timeless and cherished addition to the tapestry of Christmas music. Mark Lowry’s heartfelt lyrics, born from a moment of reflection on Mary’s role in the divine story, invite listeners to ponder the intricate details of Christ’s birth. We hope you enjoyed learning about the details of a song that transcends the realms of mere music and delves into the profound mysteries of faith, encapsulating the Christmas narrative in a contemporary melody.

WATCH: The Story Behind ‘Mary Did You Know?' with Mark Lowry

"And the angel said to her, "‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,'" Luke 1:30-33.

image credit: Getty Images/GinosPhotos
h/t: Kirk Cameron on TBN