Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Mary, Did You Know?" ~ the Story and the Song

This song was sang at church during the Christmas play last week (the 13th). And it really got me to thinking. Did Mary know? I mean, she knew who He was, but how much of what He would go on to do did she know? 
Seeing as how this song was written by my favorite comedian, I decided to share the story behind it. :) 

//The Song//
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know, that your Baby Boy
Has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered, 
Will soon deliver you. 

Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Would calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know, that your Baby Boy
Has walked where angels trod 
And when you kiss your little Baby, 
You've kissed the face of God? 

Oh, Mary, did you know? 
Mary, did you know? 

The blind will see, the deaf will hear,
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak,
Praises of the lamb? 

Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping Child you're holding
Is the Great I AM! 

//The Story//

 In 1984, while living in Houston, Mark Lowry was asked by his pastor to write the program for their living Christmas tree choir presentation. They always sang the traditional Christmas carols, so Mark's job was to write the bridges to connect them. 
  It was while he was working on the project that Mark considered what it would have been like to have been Jesus' mother. 
 "When I wrote this thing about Mary," Mark explained. "I began by thinking I was interviewing her on her thoughts of being a mother to Jesus. A couple of the lines really stood out, like 'when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God.' I just thought this needed to be a song." 
 Keeping the perspective of a reporter doing a story on Jesus from Mary's viewpoint, Mary penned a poem that sent chills up his spine. Still, taking those powerful lyrics and turning them into a full-blown song was a bigger challenge than even he could have expected. Although he gave the words to a solid music writer, he wasn't happy with the results; the melody didn't have the right feel. Filing "Mary, Did You Know?" away, Mark decided to wait on the Lord's timing rather than put his lyrics to music that failed to move him. 
 Mark joined the Gaither Vocal Band in 1988. Two years later, Buddy Green, a songwriter and talented musican, also joined the band. 
 Deciding to share "Mary, Did You Know?" with Buddy, Mark wrote the following words at the top of the lyrics and gave them to him. "Buddy, here are some God-inspired words. Please add some beautiful music and make it a profitable hit." 
 Though Mark meant it as a joke, Green took the whole thing very seriously. After setting the lyrics aside for a few weeks, he set to work. 
 One day, after finishing this project, Buddy called Mark on the phone and began singing the song to him! Mark loved it and within a week they had put together a "jam box" demo to give to one of their favorite artists....
 Looking at the world through his unique, God-given perspective led him to think of one of the world's most familiar stories in a new light. "Mary, Did You Know?" a song like no other Christmas carol 
ever penned, written about a mother like no other, came from the hand of a man like no other. 

***Wording in italics are direct excerpts from "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" by Ace Collins. Ordinary type is parts of the story in my own words. ***

Have you heard this song? 
Do you like it?
Before reading this, did you know the story behind it? 

Thanks for reading! Have a lovely day. :) 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"It's a Wonderful Life"

 It's a Wonderful Life *sigh* Just that title is perfectly Christmas, don't ya think? I hadn't seen this movie until...Christmas before last? Anyway, it's quickly became my favorite Christmas movie. :) Instead of including it in the post of Christmas movies I did Sunday, I decide to do I separate post just for this. :) Here goes! 

(We watched this movie last Saturday night and I made two whole lists of be prepared for this to get lengthy... B-))

- In the drug store. Mary: "I'm still thinking." 

Violet: "I like him." 
Mary: "You like every boy." 
Violet: "What's wrong with that?" 
(Tucker says "what is wrong with that? Especially if I'm one of the boys." LOL.) 

Aw....<3 <3 

- the strings on Uncle Billy's fingers 

- George saving Mr. Gower, the druggist, from accidentally poisoning 

 "I wish I had a million dollars. Hotdog!!" 

- Quote from Annie, the Bailey's maid,: "That's why all children should be girls." 

- dancing the Charleston

- The entire part with George and Mary walking home in the robe and oversized football uniform singing Buffalo Gals! <3 

- When George steps on the belt of her robe and then hands in to her and kisses her hand. "Your caboose, m'lady!" 
- Throwing rocks in the windows of the old house

 "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a rope around it and pull it down." 
 "I'll take it." 
 "Then you could swallow it and moonbeams would shoot out your fingers and toes and the ends of your hair."... Isn't George poetic? *wink, wink* 
- the man on his porch watching George and Mary  "Why don't you kiss her? Instead of talking her to death." I loved the flowers in this scene. :) 
- when Mary is in the hydrangeas... George: "You don't get a chance like this everyday, especially in Bedford Falls. Maybe I should sell tickets? Naw." 

- Potter: "Sentimental hogwash!" 
- Uncle Billy: "I can get another job. I'm only 55." Then the woman who works there corrects him. "56." Hehehe... ;) 
- When they ask George to stay and work in his father's place

- At the train station.  George: "What's the three best sounds in the world?" 
 Uncle Billy: "Breakfast is served. Lunch is served. Dinner is served." 
- Meeting Ruth Bailey... And George realizes he won't be leaving Bedford Falls
- An intoxicated Uncle Billy trying to find his way home 
- Quote from George's mother, speaking of Mary: "She lights up like a firefly whenever you're around." 
- The type of date George suggests to Violet. "Let's go out in the fields and take off our and walk through the grass. Then let's go to the falls, it's pretty up there. And then we'll climb Mount Bedford!" 

- George showing up and Mary's house and the gate is stuck and he kicks it open. ;) 
- Mary's dress in that scene. So pretty!!! 

      "George Lassos the Moon"

- When Mary starts singing and George acts so...awful, terrible, different.... :-( 
- Mary's mother: "Mary dear, who's down there with you?" 
 "It's George Bailey, mother." 
 "George Bailey, what does he want?" 
 "I don't know. What do you want?" 
- George leaves and Mary breaks to record
- Sam Wainwright calls and Mary offers to let him talk to George. Mary's mother: "He doesn't want to talk to George Bailey, you idiot!"

- The whole scene where Mary and George are sharing the phone and pretending to listen to whatever Sam says... *sigh* 

- Leaving the wedding and seeing 'the run'
- The words under George's father's picture, in the bank office. "All you can take with you is that which you've given away." 
- George is trying to reason with the people and then when they're all heading for the door to go to Potter and then George jumps across the counter and stops them and Mary holds up the $2,000. "How much do you need?" THAT is what makes Mary the perfect girl for him!! :D
- When everyone is saying $20 and the one lady asks for $17.50 :) It gives me all the good, sweet feels! 

- Mary calling and telling George to come home "320 Sycamore" 
- "This is there honeymoon!" 
 "Honeymoon? What are they, ducks?" 
- The rainy duet from outside the window 

- This part :D

- Mary breaking the news to George..."You mean you're on the nest?!" ;)
George: "What is it? A boy or a girl?" 
Mary: "Uh, huh!" That really answered the question... (I'm being sarcastic) 

- Houstus's hair and neck tie. Hair, always messy. Tie, always to short. :D 
- The missing money...
- "It means bankruptcy, scandal, and prison!" 
- The knob on the banister coming off in George's hand
- Talking to Mrs. Welch on the phone...talking to Mr. Welch on the phone... 
- George going to see Potter, the "warped, frustrated, old man"
- George's prayer in Martini's... *sniff, sniff* 
- Wrecking the car into the tree
- The moment of decision on the bridge *creepy background music* 
- Hooray! George didn't go through with it, but jumped in to save Clarence! :D 
- Clarence: "I passed away in it." 
- AS2= Angel, second class 
- George: "You look about like the kind of angel I'd get." 

"You got your wish..." 
--changes after George's wish...
- Mr. Gower, he would've went to prison 
- Zuzu's petals aren't in his pocket
- Pottersville, not Bedford Falls
- All the bars and dance halls up and down the streets...
- The police with Violet
- Ernie, the taxi driver, his wife and son left him
- The house at 320 Sycamore (and Clarence hollering "Joseph, Joseph!" while being handcuffed, and then disappearing into thin air. ;)) 
- Visiting George's mother (and Clarence leaning on the mailbox ;P) 
- Harry Bailey's grave, because George wasn't there to save him. "All the men on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry!" 
- Mary, an old maid and leaving the library 

"Please, I want to live again. I want to live again. Please, God, let me live again." Aww...

"My mouth's bleeding!" 

- George comes running into his house and sees all the guys – police, bank inspector, etc. "Isn't it wonderful? I'm going to jail!" 
- George calls one of the kids (Zuzu, maybe?), 'gingersnap' <3

- Mary comes in and then everyone comes with money. Violet decides not to leave town. Annie gives her life's savings, and even the bank examiners chip-in. :) 
- The telegram from Sam Waimwright. "Hee-haw!" 
- Harry shows up :D (By the way, WHERE IS HIS WIFE?!?!? All this time he's gone off to war, where is Ruth?? So maybe she was with her parents...but where is she now? He's just been decorated, why want she there?? *sigh* I guess I'll never know...) 

"Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love Clarence" 

So yeah. I love this movie SOOO much!!! :) 
Have you seen it? Do you enjoy it? If not, do you want to now? 

I'm posting this as part of Heidi's December Inkling Explorations

As soon as I saw this month's theme, I knew what I wanted to do. :) 

Thank you all for reading! Have a lovely day!! :D 

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" ~ the Story and the Song

If you do not read my other blog, click HERE see what this is all about. :) 

It has came to my attention that many of my blogger friends are not familiar with one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem". If you are one of them, this is for you. ;) 
When looking up the lyrics to this song online, I realized that they're not exactly the same as we sing at church. So below is the words to this song from our church hymnal. ;-) 

"Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem"

Verse one:
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shining afar through shadows dim
Giving a light for those who long have gone (have gone) 
And guiding the wise men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
Beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 

**Oh beautiful star (beautiful, beautiful star) of Bethlehem (star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawn (glory dawn) 
Oh Give us thy light to light the way
Into the land of perfect day
Beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 

Verse two: 
Oh beautiful star the hope of light
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains 'till the break of dawn (the dawn) 
And Into the land of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 


Verse three:
Oh beautiful star the hope of rest 
For the redeemed the good and the blest 
Yonder in glory when the crown is won (is won) 

For Jesus is now that Star divine
Brighter and brighter He will shine
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 


~ The Story Behind the Song ~ 
Few people today realize the popular Christmas song “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” was written by the late R. Fisher Boyce in a Middle Tennessee milk barn in the early part of the 20th century. It would go on to become a seasonal standard performed by a variety of artists, and it would eventually be sung in the White House by The Judds during a nationally televised Bob Hope Christmas special.
Boyce was born in the tiny community of Link, located in southern Rutherford County, in November 1887. The third of six children, Boyce loved music and was singing solo and in quartets by the early 1900s. In the spring of 1910, he married Cora Carlton from the Rockvale community. They would become the parents of 11 children, five of whom lived to be adults. Only one daughter, Willie Ruth Eads, remains alive. Eads remembers singing as a great source of entertainment for their family.
"The neighbors would come in, and we'd all gather around our family piano," Boyce's daughter said. "My sister Nanny Lou (Taylor) would play, and we would sing way into the night."
In 1940, the Vaughan Company published Boyce's song "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." The song was printed in the company's song-book, Beautiful Praise. Later, the song would be republished in Vaughan's Favorite Radio Songs.
Boyce wrote “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” while the family was living on a dairy farm in the Plainview community, about two or three miles from what is now the Interstate 24 Buchanan Road Exit. The songwriter’s son, the late Franklin Boyce, recalled in a 1996 interview that his dad said he couldn't concentrate in the house because of noise made by the children. He walked across the road to the barn to find the solitude he needed to write.
“My father said the song was inspired by the Lord. Otherwise, how could he, a simple country man, ever write a song about such a glorious event in world history?” Franklin Boyce asked.
When searching through some old papers, the family found a yellowed article clipped from The Daily News Journal, a newspaper in Murfreesboro. It had been written in the early 1960s. A story by Marie Chapman recounts the elder Boyce's recollection of how the song came to be written.
"I got up one Sunday morning to write it down,” Boyce recalled. When his train of thought was interrupted by a member of the family who entered the room singing, he moved his pencil and pad to the barn, and there "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" was put on paper.
“The words and melody got on my mind," Boyce told Chapman, "till I could hardly sleep at night." The humble farmer said he looked upon both the words and tune as gifts from God.
Dean Boyce, Franklin's wife, remembers how her late sister-in-law, Nanny Lou, talked about helping her father put down the music for the song. "I believe,” she said, “they worked all morning on the music at the piano, and it rained hard all the time they were working on it.”
Nell McKee, a retired educator who lives in the Buchanan area, attended Mt. Carmel Baptist Church where Boyce was a deacon and song leader when the song was written. Now in her 90s, McKee still attends the same church and recalls that Boyce would sing the lead part and his wife would sing the harmony in her clear alto voice.
"Fisher and Cora would sometimes sing the song at church," McKee remembers. "Cora would weep every time they sang together. She was very proud of her husband for writing that song."
Ironically, the family has never received royalties from the song. As was commonplace during that time in history, the legal copyright became the property of the company that published the material. As a rule, the song-writers were paid a one-time fee. To make a living, Boyce taught private voice lessons and worked at a variety of jobs including dairy farming and insurance and nursery sales
During his later years, Boyce and his wife moved into town where he and a nephew, M. B. Carlton, were partners in the Ideal Fruit Market on West College Street. There, Boyce sold single copies of the song for a small amount of money.
Although he is often overlooked, Boyce is an important part of Tennessee’s musical history. Wolfe said, “With the exception of Uncle Dave Macon’s music, Boyce's song is the most important musical composition to come out of Rutherford County.”
According to family members, music was a part of Boyce’s life until his last breath. Shortly before his passing in October 1968, as his family gathered around his bed, Boyce “raised his arm and started beating out time, like he was leading a song. Daddy was singing ‘Meet Me There’ just before he died,” Eads remembers.
During this holiday season, the saga of a simple man and his music will shine on wherever “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” is sung. ***

***I borrowed the above story from HERE. Anywhere that I tweaked it or removed something that I felt did not apply here, is marked by "....."

If you'd like to listen to this song (it's so beautiful and totally worth your time! :D), I suggest the following video. It's the cloest I could find to the way we sing it. ;) 

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day! 
Sisters in Christ,