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MUSIC VIDEO REVIEW: Arden Leigh, “Mary Did You Know?”


By Lee Anderson

Here is the music video to Arden Leigh’s version of the gospel song “Mary Did You Know?” It was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy GreeneI, and previously covered by everyone from Clay Aiken to Kenny Rogers. 

Arden wanted a “gothier” version. “First sang it when I was 17 at my Catholic high school's annual Christmas festival,” explains Arden. “I couldn't believe that in the years since someone hadn't made a darkwave version of it...” 

The song is made “darkwave” by a bassline that sounds right out of early-Cure. The piano and drums are heavier than other versions, but nothing has been too drastically changed. It’s still a gospel song.

The video cuts between Arden singing in the doorway of a “manger-like” structure, then cavorting around an intricate tombstone taller than she is, then she’s alone in a dark room filled with candles like any good religious video should be. 

If you’re not already aware of the song, the lyrics are straight-forward, imploring the Virgin Mary if she somehow had any awareness that she was actually giving birth to the most important human being ever. What would giving birth to God feel like? Doesn’t every woman, in a way, give birth to God? “Mary did you know that your baby is Lord of All Creation?,” Arden sings. 


She owns an amazing voice, no doubt, and seems to have enough confidence in it that she can sing at the camera as intensely as I’ve ever seen a singer do. Also, her fashion model looks and tight dresses are nothing short of sensual, making for an odd choice, if not interesting. Her eyes even roll white when she’s really getting into it, as if, well, “possessed.” This makes it gothier, too.

Arden calls the release of this song a “Christmas gift” while also apparently using publicity from the song to help launch her own 8-week, self-improvement course called “The Re-Patterning Project.” Her course seems to mix Christianity with epigenetics, which is: “the idea, now scientifically proven, that we can inherit trauma generationally through the passing of genetic alterations to the interpretations of our DNA.” In other words, as best as I can understand it, we can feel distress and exhibit aberrant behavior from the trauma experienced and passed on by distant relatives. Even ancient relatives. Anyway, she aims to help you with that.

"When someone tells you it runs in the family, “ she explains, “you tell them here's where it runs the fuck out."

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