Mary Don't you Weep





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Published on May 22, 2009

from the John Lee Sanders Gospel CD, "The Gospel Sessions"
in the Negro Spiritual, Mary don't you weep
recorded live in the Studio at Rock Beach Recording, March, 2007, White Rock, BC Canada
produced by Cale Guy, http://caleguy.com
I've heard many versions of it over the years, everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Prince to Aretha Franklin do this song on her live Gospel CD. God has a plan for everything, and no matter how hard the grief is of losing our loved ones, we know that if we trust in him, It's all gonna be all right.

"Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn", or variations thereof) is a Negro spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War. It tells the Biblical story of Mary of Bethany and her distraught pleas to Jesus to raise her brother Lazarus from the dead. Other narratives relate to The Exodus and the Passage of the Red Sea, with the chorus proclaiming Pharaoh's army got drown-ded!, and to God's rainbow covenant to Noah after the Great Flood. With liberation thus one of its themes, the song again become popular during the 1950s and 1960s American civil rights movement.

The first recording of the song was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1915, while the most known recordings were made by The Caravans in 1958, and The Swan Silvertones in 1962. Many other recordings have been made, by artists ranging from The Soul Stirrers to Burl Ives. Pete Seeger gave it additional folk music visibility by performing it at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. An a cappella version by Take 6, simply called "Mary", received wide airplay after appearing on the group's eponymous debut album in 1988. The song is sung briefly at the beginning of the music video for Bone Thugs N Harmony's 1996 "Tha Crossroads". In a pounding big group folk arrangement, it was one of the highlights of the 2006 Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour. Perhaps the most widely known version, however, is sung by the vocal gospel group The Caravans, with Inez Andrews as the lead singer. A major highlight of the 7th Annual Americana Music Honors & Awards show on September 18th 2008, Mike Farris, winner of New Emerging Artist of the Year, performed a rousing rendition of the song backed by The McCrary Sisters. The song also appears on Mike Farris' album Salvation in Lights.

A song that chronicles the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, If you miss me from the back of the bus, written by Charles Neblett of the Freedom SIngers, was sung to this tune.


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