Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas falls on Sunday this year, a week from today. So, it's very likely this will be my last post on this blog until 2012. I don't think I have ever posted on this song, but it's been on my mind quite a bit lately.

For me, the first time I heard this song, Tracy Tonkel Furniss did a very powerful version of it at Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. I've wished I had a recorded version of her doing "Mary, Did You Know?" ever since, but, apparently, such a recording does not exist.

Just now, I skimmed the book my sister gave me that also included this song on an audio CD. Indeed, I do not remember reading much of what is in this treasured book, but I bring it out every Christmas season and listen to the CD several times.

On the back of the book, it reads:
"May our hearts, like Mary's, respond with joy in doing God's will. And may we, at Christmas and throughout the year, know that Mary's child was born to save us all."

Thank, God, a version is on YouTube that tells us more about the song.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the second Sunday of Advent 2011. Before I went to the animation for this day on the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar, I did some research.

This is sort of what it was like.

Here's the words to this poem that became a song.

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all his wondrous childhood,
he would honor and obey,
love and watch the lowly maiden
in whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
and he feeleth for our sadness,
and he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that Child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
when like stars his children crowned,
all in white shall wait around.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848

Music: Irby (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Where’s the line to see Jesus?

Each year I seem to become more upset with the extreme emphasis on the commercial side of the Christmas holidays. I think that's why I like this song that came out on YouTube last year.

I have my friend, Mary, to thank for reminding me of the the song this year.

Everything else on this blog post came directly from the description of the video on YouTube, as follows:
Available on iTunes!

For booking and management: Nate 314-650-2121

The true inspiring story behind the music:
"Where's the Line to See Jesus?" While at the mall a few years ago, Becky's then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, "where's the line to see Jesus"? Becky's sister mentioned this to her father, Steve Haupt, who immediately became inspired and jotted some words down to the song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick home recording, he received a great response from friends. Her father asked if Becky wanted to record the song to see what could happen with it. Becky listened to the song, made a few changes and headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris Loesch, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus... with goosebumps and emotions high, they all felt like they had something special and recorded the demo in just under 2 hours. 2 weeks before Christmas last year, her cousins decided to do a quick video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day it had 3000 hits and it soared to a million from there! Becky received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over over the world asking for the music, CD's, iTunes, a full version, anything... they had nothing.

After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, the team got serious. They headed back into the studio this past spring... this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs... the real deal.... and here it is today. Getting everything set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together... remembering the true meaning of Christmas. Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults can not understand. Hopefully Spencer's observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. Becky is most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share her music with you. Merry Christmas everyone.

Interesting facts:
• A portion of the proceeds of CD sales will go to Christian Family Services in St. Louis and the good work they do finding homes for children in need!
• The man playing piano in the video is Becky's father Steve who is also the main writer of the song and is the pianist on both recordings!
• Gloria Estefan's bassist, Jorge Casas, is the bassist on this recording!

Recording credits:
Performed by: Becky Kelley
Written by: Steve Haupt & Chris Loesch
Produced by: Chris Loesch
Recorded at: Shock City Studios, St. Louis, MO

Video credits:
Directed by: Chris Benson
Cinematography: Chris Benson
Edited by: Gabriel Reed and Chris Benson
Produced by: Carlyn Graumenz, Chris Benson (Lamplight Films) and Chris Loesch for Shock City Producitons
Cameras and Lights: Heroic Age