Mary Clearly Knew

by Suzanne Hannau and Jonathan Hannau

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Liner Notes

Christmas tune “Mary, Did You Know?” has been wildly popular since its premiere in 1984. Originally written by Mark Lowry, it has been covered by hundreds of artists across genres, ranging from Dolly Parton to Pentatonix. 

The song, however, has been subject to warranted criticism for its lack of theological depth and general overall mansplaining nature. In Christian scripture, after learning that she is pregnant with Jesus, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and sings the Magnificat—a song about how God is delivering his people. A lot of the questions that are posed in this song are actually answered within those scripture verses. 

We are far from the first group to parody this tune, but we thought it would be fun to put our own spin on it: an interviewer with an agenda and a woman who just wants her story to be heard.

Transcript

Brian: Hello, everybody! This is Big Boy Brian and you’re listening to 94.7 WOWS. Today we’ll be interviewing the literal mother of God and we’re excited to hear about some fresh new perspectives that we may have missed over the years.

Mary: Thanks so much for having me. 

[Piano music begins]

Mary: Is that…? Where did that piano come from? Is this, is this a musical interview? I’ve never done one of these before…. This might be kind of fun, um, I wasn’t really ready for this…. Okay.

Brian (singing):
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy—

Mary: Was that the lick?

Brian (singing)
Would save our sons and daughters? 
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new—

Mary: So I have some thoughts about this—

Brian (singing):
—This child that you delivered
Will soon deliver you?

Mary (singing)
Maybe don’t you think this is a little intense 
For starting off the show?
But sure, I clearly knew, because you know, 
An angel told me so 
Maybe read Luke Chapter 1, where I tell—

Brian: Wait, there’s a book? 

Mary (singing)
—Elizabeth about it all.
To finish up my thoughts on this, I—

Brian (singing):
BUT MARY, BUT MARY DID YOU KNOW?

[Piano interlude]

Mary: …I was, I was speaking, um… I didn’t know we were doing a musical interlude… Uh, did you know, did you know that you interrupted me, or, I’m just curious, because I had more to—

Brian (singing):
The blind will see, the deaf will hear,
The dead will live again—

Mary (singing):
—I can’t believe this is happening to me again—

Brian (singing):
—The lame will leap, the mute will speak— 

Mary (singing):
—Don’t you want to hear what I have to say—

Brian (singing):
—The praises of the Lamb!

[Silence]

Mary: Are you done?
…Brian, did you know
I’m a person with thoughts and feelings of my own?
I thought you brought me here 
For a new perspective
On a story that you, you think you’ve known
(singing) Do you care even a little bit, 
And did you think this through?
Or will you write me off—
Like so many others do?

Brian: Huh, I didn’t think about it that way … but
(singing) Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation—

[Piano clatter]

Mary: I think we’re done here. I’m gonna fire my publicist for putting me on this show.

Suzanne Hannau and Jonathan Hannau

Suzanne and Jonathan Hannau are honestly just happy to be here. They vibe in Chicago, IL, where they play flute, piano, and sing for a living, with their 2 dogs and turtle. They are thrilled to once again be contributing to the Advent Project!

Credits

Recorded and mixed by: Jonathan Hannau