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Patty Griffin — Mary
Album: Flaming Red
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 988









Released: 1998
Length: 4:59
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Mary
You're covered in roses
You're covered in ashes
You're covered in rain
You're covered in babies
You're covered in slashes
You're covered in wilderness
You're covered in stains

You cast aside the sheets
You cast aside the shroud
Of another man
Who served the world proud
And you greet another son
And you lose another one
On some sunny day
And always you stay
Mary

Jesus said, mother, I couldn't stay another day longer
He flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels were singing his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

Oh Mary
She moves behind me
She leaves her fingerprints
Everywhere
Every time the snow drifts
Every way the sand shifts
Even when the night lifts
She's always there

Jesus said, mother, I couldn't stay another day longer
He flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels were singing his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

Oh Mary
You're covered in roses
You're covered in ruins
You're covered in secrets
You're covered in treetops
You're covered in birds
Who can sing a million songs
Without any words

You cast aside the sheets
You cast aside the shroud
Of another man
Who served the world proud
And you greet another son
And you lose another one
On some sunny day
And always you stay
Mary
Mary
Comments (184)add comment

 

Me too! 

 

mrselfdestruct wrote:

This is one that gives me tingles.
 

This is one that gives me tingles.
This artist is really starting to grow on me.
What a voice. I particularly liked the concert version with Natalie Maines - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxpvKuEruk
Good god almighty that's beautiful. 
 BigRooster747 wrote:
I must be one of the few not liking singers with the American whine in their voice. I always skip these ''20 a dozen'' singers when they are on. It's honestly one of the reasons never to grant RP hight marks for music. These whining woman singers get on my nerves.

 
Possibly, someday, your perspective will broaden. It happens. Preferences in music change. The only reason to make this comment is that my thoughts about music have changed with time. 
Wow...transporting.  This is what music is supposed to do.  Take you to a different place.
 arighter2 wrote:
... If it had any kind of kick to the end, I'd have given it a ten.
 
Not missing the point?
I must be one of the few not liking singers with the American whine in their voice. I always skip these ''20 a dozen'' singers when they are on. It's honestly one of the reasons never to grant RP hight marks for music. These whining woman singers get on my nerves.
Great song. Great album.
 rsfc_carp wrote:
I don't think there's another RP regular that I'm as bimodal about as Patty.  When she gets excited and starts hollerin' it's like knitting needles through my ears, but on songs like this, she's a reminder of what music can do for humans.

 
Agreed, but in this case, the rest of this album kicks serious butt. Her best album IMHO.
Carol Ferris and I heard this live last spring. Such a treat.
When is there ever a time that hearing Patti Griffin on RP ISN'T a great thing?
God, I love her.
Patty Griffin's music is so strong
I donated yesterday (I'm in the Gallon Club) and think if you can than you should too,
help out Donating Blood - RedCrossBlood.org
Jesus. Another total knockout song by Patty.
Stopped me in my tracks.
 ScottN wrote:
Sublime.

 
No, Patty Griffin. How can you confuse those two?

Sublime.
makes you stop and say 'there's more music out there' than I WILL ever  be able to appreciate all the other sides of an artist
I don't think there's another RP regular that I'm as bimodal about as Patty.  When she gets excited and starts hollerin' it's like knitting needles through my ears, but on songs like this, she's a reminder of what music can do for humans.
 lholly wrote:
...
Patty is best heard live where she knows exactly how to move every breathe and nuance. 
...
 
Absolutely. The venue sometimes doesn't do her justice. I saw her at Stubb's amphitheater once, and it was quite disappointing. But I've seen her in more suitable venues, and she just crushes it.
song for this day of remembrance, somber and sincere with all that beauty     
This is great music thank you guys
Hard to find but when you do, rarely is there disagreement among the greatest critics.
A top ten song of all time in a few. A gem of gems.

I knew it to be one one the best from the 1st time I heard it. But what do I know. 7xP doesn't mean I'm a good critic! ;-)
Love that you play this RP! Everyone should be exposed to the greatness of what makes a truly great song.
... Not always where you expect it... that's what's so great about this art.

As a musician/writer/engineer I sadly agree with the comments about the production.
Patty is best heard live where she knows exactly how to move every breathe and nuance. 
I rarely listen to this studio version, but the live trax from "A Kiss in Time" are always within reach.
the acoustic video collections with Buddy & Emmylou are not to be missed!... Three Girls and Their Buddy"
LPH
Practically perfect. Patty at her classic best, from my 2nd favorite Patty album behind Silver Bell.
Always found the lyrics to this song awesome (cried like Mary Magdalene the firs time I heard it, not afraid to say). It's worth the price of the whole album, really.
She makes nice songs, should be pleasant enough, but...

Maybe it's the mix, but Patty just gets on my nerves without even trying after about 90 seconds. Just working with RP in the background, not really focused on the music, and she just scrapes into my awareness and I have to PSD.
goes well with coffee and egg McMuffin.
She is fantastic, and this is a beautiful song.
Some enterprising producer really should get the original master tapes of this album and remix it without the piercing highs.  Every song is very good to outstanding, and converting it to MP3 helps, but on the CD, the high frequencies are way too hot.

Maybe Ms Griffin can do this?
{#Heartkiss}  9 > 10
Wonderful song.  Doesn't seem like I have been listening to it for 15 years...but I have.
Fabulous artist singing a strong part of a story, and an afternoon's worth of interesting commentary; we are blessed people
ACK! My ears. I know everyone loves her, and I keep trying but this is fingernails on a chalkboard to me. 
Shesdifferent, winter and I will be at her show in Mesa, AZ in about 4 hours from right now. Can't wait!
Her voice is riveting, especially on quiet sensitive numbers like this.
This song is so beautiful. 
Patty & Annie Lennox...I want to hear their voices on my deathbed...
SUCH a beautiful voice she has....always makes me stop and listen.
Patty's voice makes this song shine.
Funny how many people have a gut antipathy to this song because it's got a vague Jesus undercurrent. I'm not a Christian, but c'mon, much — most? — of the Western world's greatest art has had a Biblical theme. Just about everything done by Michaelangelo, for instance. Anyway, I think this is just beautiful.
What he/she said...
 rdo wrote:
As a board certified atheist, I like this song.
 There's a board? Dammit, nobody told me. I wanna be certified too. They say I'm already certifiable, so it should be a snap.

What?


Religious undertones notwithstanding, this is lovely.
Beautiful. 10
 crispynz1 wrote:
Hideous!
 
Physics, is that you?
wow. twice in 2 days. depressing.
Hideous!
Funny how many people have a gut antipathy to this song because it's got a vague Jesus undercurrent. I'm not a Christian, but c'mon, much — most? — of the Western world's greatest art has had a Biblical theme. Just about everything done by Michaelangelo, for instance. Anyway, I think this is just beautiful. Too bad it's not about the Buddha. (Joke.)
 zepher wrote:
Beautiful song.  The pain Mary went through seeing her Son fulfill the book, and thus realize the prophecies of the Old Testament gives real hope to suffering women everywhere.  All 'recovering' Christians need to go back to the Bible, and see how it speaks to you today apart from how it was presented in the past.  Open your mind, God has blessed you with the ability to read, and little ol' me defending the Bible is like a Kitty Cat defending the Lion's den. 



 
I find it interesting that some religious folks are quick to harp on what on non-believers "need to do." I don't feel the need to tell you what to do or believe, I don't give a flying fig. As long as you don't kill people in the name of your god, as many have. Immediately you'll mention the atheists who have committed atrocities, and yes, there are plenty. They killed despite their beliefs, not because of them. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, has plenty of wonderful philosophy, as well as some pretty scary tenants. Many other great books do too and it takes more of an open mind to admit that than to look for all of the answers from one book.
As a board certified athiest, I like this song.
Beautiful song.  The pain Mary went through seeing her Son fulfill the book, and thus realize the prophecies of the Old Testament gives real hope to suffering women everywhere.  All 'recovering' Christians need to go back to the Bible, and see how it speaks to you today apart from how it was presented in the past.  Open your mind, God has blessed you with the ability to read, and little ol' me defending the Bible is like a Kitty Cat defending the Lion's den. 



 brianlemaster wrote:
As a recovering Catholic I'm never happy to hear anything overtly religious. 45 minutes ago RP played Daniel Lanois's "The Maker" which rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I can't help but love this song. It must be Patty's haunting voice. To me the song is an ode to overlooked women, mothers, wives, etc., everywhere.Maybe it helps that I'm fairly familiar with some of Patty's other music and generally you can't find a religious overtone to it.
>>>
Not to be provocative, but "recovering Catholic"?? what does that mean.. in your case, the devil won?  The song as a whole can be received as a wonderful ode to women throughout history as is well said above, but clearly speaks to Marian devotionalists, Catholics, Protestant, and all Christians who appreciate Mary's "yes" to God.
 
If I believed in the devil any more than god, I guess you could say the devil won. I only qualified my statement with the "recovering Catholic" part to explain that if I'm anti-religious (which I am) it's not because no one ever tried to indoctrinate me. It just didn't take. I outgrew it, much like belief in the tooth fairy. I still love this song and don't find it to be a statement of religious devotion. But I even like some songs that are. "Oh Holy Night" is overtly religious. I don't feel inspired by the message, but as for song structure and composition, it's amazing. It's one of my favorite Christmas songs when performed by someone who really hits the emotion.
Interesting point. Who exactly is the devil, anyway? Someone that a bunch of child rapists told me to avoid? In that case, I'll take the devil.

brianlemaster wrote:
As a recovering Catholic I'm never happy to hear anything overtly religious. 45 minutes ago RP played Daniel Lanois's "The Maker" which rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I can't help but love this song. It must be Patty's haunting voice. To me the song is an ode to overlooked women, mothers, wives, etc., everywhere.Maybe it helps that I'm fairly familiar with some of Patty's other music and generally you can't find a religious overtone to it.
>>>
Not to be provocative, but "recovering Catholic"?? what does that mean.. in your case, the devil won?  The song as a whole can be received as a wonderful ode to women throughout history as is well said above, but clearly speaks to Marian devotionalists, Catholics, Protestant, and all Christians who appreciate Mary's "yes" to God.
 

As a recovering Catholic I'm never happy to hear anything overtly religious. 45 minutes ago RP played Daniel Lanois's "The Maker" which rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I can't help but love this song. It must be Patty's haunting voice. To me the song is an ode to overlooked women, mothers, wives, etc., everywhere.Maybe it helps that I'm fairly familiar with some of Patty's other music and generally you can't find a religious overtone to it.
>>>
Not to be provocative, but "recovering Catholic"?? what does that mean.. in your case, the devil won?  The song as a whole can be received as a wonderful ode to women throughout history as is well said above, but clearly speaks to Marian devotionalists, Catholics, Protestant, and all Christians who appreciate Mary's "yes" to God.
As a confirmed atheist, I'd have to agree with the more "agnostic" interpretations below. It strikes me as a song as much about the role and fate of woman as it is "that" particular woman.

That said, and again as a non-believer, as a woman who wept over the body of a young son killed before his time for reasons she may have been vague on, Mary probably isn't a bad archetype for our society on a few levels.

crispynz1 wrote:

I like Patty, but not this drivel.
My sentiments exactly. 

Simply divine!
probably as close to a Christmas song as we'll get on RP. 8.
I like Patty, but not this drivel.
Her voice always stops me in my tracks.  Like a pinhole of light in total darkness - she grabs my attention.  LOVE LOVE LOVE Patty Griffin.
 grungepuppy wrote:
As a recovering Catholic I'm never happy to hear anything overtly religious. 45 minutes ago RP played Daniel Lanois's "The Maker" which rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I can't help but love this song. It must be Patty's haunting voice. To me the song is an ode to overlooked women, mothers, wives, etc., everywhere. Maybe it helps that I'm fairly familiar with some of Patty's other music and generally you can't find a religious overtone to it.
  Thank you. Nicely said.

Truly Superlative.
 kevanski wrote:
An excellent, well composed piece of writing, which eloquently expresses a sometimes (always?) difficult topic. I am in total agreement with the point made here . .   bam23 wrote:
By now I should no longer be surprised or annoyed at the ease with which some listeners to this station jump into some sort of misdirected expressions of disdain for any performer who even mentions anything with a hint of religious perspective. If you folks really want to eliminate this way of thinking or referring to the world and its multitude of perspectives from the music you listen to, much of the past 500 years of serious music is off limits. As is popular music. This is music, not an indoctrination. This specific song might be seen as overtly religious IF YOU WANT IT TO BE SO. I hear something closer to a timeless lament put in a context of a story that most people in this culture understand. For what it is worth, I am not Christian, so this is not some attempt to sway the non-believers of the world, since I am not one of these.
 
 
Religion, made by man to control and govern man.  Let's all just keep religion out.  It only f**cks everything and everyone up.

 jim1964 wrote:

I think she's right as well. I have a live recording of this song and Patty introduces it by saying she wrote about her grandmother named Mary.
 
Her grandmother Mary.  And her uncle Jesus?

She also said that the song Heavenly Day was written about her dog.

I think what's she's saying is "I wrote this song and gave it to you.  You can each decide what it means to you".

 trekhead wrote:
Wow, I was just reading the latest Beanie Journal when this came on. Man.
 
Oh man, I remember. Heartbreaking, every breath. This song gives me chills all by itself, but at that time it was just crushing.

An excellent, well composed piece of writing, which eloquently expresses a sometimes (always?) difficult topic. I am in total agreement with the point made here . .   bam23 wrote:
By now I should no longer be surprised or annoyed at the ease with which some listeners to this station jump into some sort of misdirected expressions of disdain for any performer who even mentions anything with a hint of religious perspective. If you folks really want to eliminate this way of thinking or referring to the world and its multitude of perspectives from the music you listen to, much of the past 500 years of serious music is off limits. As is popular music. This is music, not an indoctrination. This specific song might be seen as overtly religious IF YOU WANT IT TO BE SO. I hear something closer to a timeless lament put in a context of a story that most people in this culture understand. For what it is worth, I am not Christian, so this is not some attempt to sway the non-believers of the world, since I am not one of these.
 


By now I should no longer be surprised or annoyed at the ease with which some listeners to this station jump into some sort of misdirected expressions of disdain for any performer who even mentions anything with a hint of religious perspective. If you folks really want to eliminate this way of thinking or referring to the world and its multitude of perspectives from the music you listen to, much of the past 500 years of serious music is off limits. As is popular music. This is music, not an indoctrination. This specific song might be seen as overtly religious IF YOU WANT IT TO BE SO. I hear something closer to a timeless lament put in a context of a story that most people in this culture understand. For what it is worth, I am not Christian, so this is not some attempt to sway the non-believers of the world, since I am not one of these.
 peter_james_bond wrote:

I think Imic is right again.  {#Cheers}
 
I think she's right as well. I have a live recording of this song and Patty introduces it by saying she wrote about her grandmother named Mary.
 amb599 wrote:
As an atheist - this is one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs, and I love most every one of them.  To me it tells the story of a humble woman cleaning up after a man.  Ascribe whatever notions to the man you like, thats not what this song is about.
 
I'm also an atheist & like this song as well.

Lots of knee-jerk reaction to this one. Beautiful song.
 lattalo wrote:
Someday I am going to get to see this woman perform live.
I think she is one the best artists alive today, I just can't believe
she is not more popular.  A very remarkable talented artist,
unbelievable!!!!!
 
As powerful as she is recorded, she will knock you out live. Saw her recently, with Shawn Colvin, at a benefit show. Much too short, but wonderful nonetheless.

 lawman wrote:
**** me: what a ****ing miserable song.   Thanks for nothin.
 

What he said. . . . but the exact opposite.
**** me: what a ****ing miserable song.   Thanks for nothin.
Someday I am going to get to see this woman perform live.
I think she is one the best artists alive today, I just can't believe
she is not more popular.  A very remarkable talented artist,
unbelievable!!!!!
As a recovering Catholic I'm never happy to hear anything overtly religious. 45 minutes ago RP played Daniel Lanois's "The Maker" which rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I can't help but love this song. It must be Patty's haunting voice. To me the song is an ode to overlooked women, mothers, wives, etc., everywhere. Maybe it helps that I'm fairly familiar with some of Patty's other music and generally you can't find a religious overtone to it.


As an atheist - this is one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs, and I love most every one of them.  To me it tells the story of a humble woman cleaning up after a man.  Ascribe whatever notions to the man you like, thats not what this song is about.
Praise the Lord....and his Momma too...I love this Album...say Amen!!!

SXSW 2010 - Patty Griffin by Kingsnake
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kingsnake/

Buddy Miller and his band performing at the New West Records party during SXSW 2010. Photo by Ron Baker.

Pictured: Patty Griffin 

© All rights reserved.


I vote we keep RP as agnostic as possible. Love songs, acoustic ballads, country twang, punk rawk bombast, Motown, bluegrass, classical anything, baroque everything, metal, heavy metal, heavier metal, grunge, pop hits, b-sides, sweetness and light, introspective emo whatever, jazz, punk jazz, British Invasion, Soul, R&B classics, big band swing, Bee-Bop, classic rock, not-so-classic rock.....I love all of it....

...but schmaltzie Christian songs are abhorent...seriously, no offense to anyone, but I'd rather eat a bag of warm poop than listen to this song ever again. {#Puke}

 lmic wrote:
Funny, I don't think of this song as religious so much as about the "fate of woman" - Havin babies, watchin em grow up, sendin em off into the world. How prosaic and sacred at the same time. Patty is an awesome poet.
 
I think Imic is right again.  {#Cheers}
Gorgeous voice. If it had any kind of kick to the end, I'd have given it a ten.

Please no. Please no. Oh fuck please no more x-tian country muzak torture. 


 Loonytunas wrote:

Is this Christian radio or Radio Paradise?


 

Who cares.  It's a great song and she belts it out with heart.  Get over your Christian paranoia.

 ripemedia wrote:

I agree. Blah.
 
I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THIS AGAIN PLEASE?
I liked that set - "Stars Die" from the mighty P'Tree, then Jimi's unfortunately posthumous "Angel", then this crystalline gem of a vocal.  Nice flow.
Wow, I was just reading the latest Beanie Journal when this came on. Man.
 Loonytunas wrote:

Is this Christian radio or Radio Paradise?

 
For this one, it's both.  8.  It's wonderful.
anybody got a chalkboard? 
I need to scrape my nails on it. 

 Loonytunas wrote:

Is this Christian radio or Radio Paradise?


 
I agree. Blah.

 okelle wrote:
It's lovely to hear devotional songs to Mary, one of the best parts of the Catholic tradition. I know religious themed songs can be annoying, but it's nice to see feminine faces of the divine being appreciated and recognized.
  I couldn't have said any more any better.  Mary is pretty much the only thing I've retained from my Catholic upbringing.  I will be acquiring this song - gave me goosebumps.  Glad to be listening to RP this morning (as always)!


more patty!
The image of Mary "cleaning up the place" is poignant to the point of heart-breaking.

Is this Christian radio or Radio Paradise?


I'm Catholic.  The attributes of Mary in this song can definitely be applied to Mary, Mother of Jesus, Son of God.  Its a beautiful song, and in my faith can be considered a sacramental (something that helps me get closer to God).

Radio Paradise often presents songs related to the spiritual.  Often I hear songs that help me think about God and my relationship with Him.  I think this is by intent of the D.J, as indicated by the name chosen for the station.

In any case, this song is especially poignant today.  There are many days in the year set aside to honor Mary, Mother of Jesus, and today happens to be one.  It is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, IOW, her birthday.    Happy Birthday, Mary.


WOW {#Hearteyes}


Hey, wait—I own this album!  The iPod just pulled up the one about red shoes today and I only didn't skip it because my hands were covered with paint.  I forget how great some of the other stuff on the album is . . . including this.
Oh yes... This is still the best record Patty has released yet.
No filler, just awsomeness all the way down.
 kellikat wrote:
even after hearing it a thousand and one times......still gives me goosebumps {#Notworthy}
 
double ditto. Just a stunningly beautiful song.

 Pyro wrote:
10!!!  Patty and Emmylou...it just doesn't get much better than this.
 
She always makes me sit up and take notice.   {#Notworthy} 
Mary youre covered in roses, youre covered in ruin
Youre covered in secrets
Youre covered in treetops, youre covered in birds
Who can sing a million songs without any words
You cast aside the sheets, you cast aside the shroud
Of another man, who served the world proud
You greet another son, you lose another one
On some sunny day and always stay
Mary, mary, mary


Twelve people gave this a ONE?  WTF?

Funny, I don't think of this song as religious so much as about the "fate of woman" - Havin babies, watchin em grow up, sendin em off into the world. How prosaic and sacred at the same time. Patty is an awesome poet.
Patty at her best. Her rockin' stuff isn't bad, but this is sublime.
Nice, really very nice.
Why did I have this left down at 6? That was silly of me. 
great song,...{#Meditate},...great singer
even after hearing it a thousand and one times......still gives me goosebumps {#Notworthy}
Patty is my favorite vocalist.  Not just Female, but above all.

I'm always happy when I hear a song from her, even her sad songs.

I want to have her babies.
 okelle wrote:
It's lovely to hear devotional songs to Mary, one of the best parts of the Catholic tradition. I know religious themed songs can be annoying, but it's nice to see feminine faces of the divine being appreciated and recognized.
 
As pointed out in several posts below, PG may infuse some religious connotations in her music, but this one seems more about her grandmother.  And if it were a biblical Mary, I'd lean towards Magdalene, not the virgin mother.  Either way, you're right - it's a lovely song.


Love Patty Griffin so much.
This whole album is fab, how else would we get rp playing so many of the songs from "Flaming Red"!! I like the way Patty infuses the imagery of the religious "Mary" with the relative that she has written about. I believe she mentions on one of her live albums, that this song is either about her aunt or grandmother. She's an incredible lyricist!!
It's lovely to hear devotional songs to Mary, one of the best parts of the Catholic tradition. I know religious themed songs can be annoying, but it's nice to see feminine faces of the divine being appreciated and recognized.
i like it play more of her.
BPenni wrote:
You didn't miss a lot when it comes to barricades. Believe me, I was there. You DID miss out on some great...umm... other things, though. It was us that coined that "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" thing, ya know. :cheesygrin: But, Hey! If you want barricades, there's lotsa old hippies trying to re-live their Vietnam glory days. Pretty easy to hook up with 'em, too, from what I see.
NAW! You didn't miss much other than the sex, drugs and rock n' roll. I was there and looking back on it the idea of protesting at the barricades was soooo much infantile BS. My Gawd .... setting dogs on fire to protest the use of napalm in 'Nam, how puerile. Getting a good education, putting on a suit and working INSIDE the system for change, as a member of of it is much more mature and productive than romancing about something that wasn't that much fun to live thru'.
10 Patty and Emmylou...it just doesn't get much better than this.
patty is god.
One of the best, most underrated, singers/writers to come around in a long time. :good-vibes:
That's more like it..what a voice!
I love to sing along to this. It's almost a meditation. She's wonderful.
The woman is stunning. STUNNING. Chills. Words. Fail. c.