A rap about a teenage mom named Mary and her illegitimate son Jesus

A rap about a teenage mom named Mary and her illegitimate son Jesus December 10, 2014

Last year I wrote a rap for Advent about the circumstances of Jesus’ birth and their implications for those of us who live very safe and privileged lives today. Basically, my thesis is that you can’t hold a baby who was born in a manger if you’re living a life that’s designed to avoid all danger. For a hook, I used a combination of the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Look Down,” the opening song of Les Miserables. The recording is extremely low-budget and my flow is not very tight. But maybe you’ll enjoy it anyway. Here’s a link to the song: O Come Emmanuel. The lyrics are below.

No room in the inn, and no room in our hearts,
Out of sight, out of mind, another stat for the charts;
So many kids today are born in a manger,
In a room of foul smells and a world full of danger;
A long ways away from the third richest county in the United States
But there’s poor people here just outside of our gates;
The shepherds with their earthly possessions in grocery carts;
No room in the inn, and no room in our hearts;
Keep your hands in your pockets when you get off the metro;
Look straight ahead; don’t walk too slow;
You’ll be eaten alive; just stay where the crowd is thick;
Don’t walk on roads where there’s not enough traffic
There’s two kinds of crimes — when people break laws
and when laws break people; no one sees the latter one as evil.
Hush, manger babies; my heart-string quota is full;
I follow the rules; I shouldn’t have to look at you.
Out of sight, out of mind, another stat for the charts;
There’s no room in the inn, and no room in my heart.

Would you believe a poor teenage girl
If she told you her illegitimate son was gonna save the world?
We’re the ones who are supposed to be saving the world
Straight A’s taking straight AP’s so we get into Harvard,
Get a business degree; go down to Wall Street;
Make the rain trickle down if it ever leaves the roulette table,
A sanitized reenactment of Cain and Abel,
Hunger is a knife that those with plenty to eat don’t have to hold,
‘Cause it’s not our fault in the game of life when the other peoples’ hands fold;
We earned our five aces fair and square;
Between college and retirement there’s nothing to spare,
So we don’t save the world ’cause we’re saving our cash
Just in case there’s another crash;
No matter how high the Dow may ascend,
it could always drop down to nothing again;
So play it safe; don’t talk to strangers;
Don’t drink the water; don’t eat from mangers;
If Emmanuel means that God is with us
And God’s Word became flesh in a barn;
Then is God really with the people who are safe from all harm?
How can you hold a baby who was born in a manger
If your life is designed to avoid all danger?

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  • andrew

    Damn. Good song.

  • James M

    I loathe rap – but that message needs to be proclaimed as widely as possible. What is the good of faith in Christ, if it does not result in changing society for the better ? The myth of “solo Christianity”, that is purely private & has no good fruits in society, has much to answer for. Humanly speaking, Jesus was illegitimate – the bastard son of a adulteress. So much for the idolisation of the “traditional family”, and for Jesus as Guarantor of the status quo – He is no such thing. A “marginal Jew”, indeed.

    To me, the circumstances of His Conception indicate that Jesus was making sure to involve His own Mother in the long road to the Cross, from the very moment of His conception. His Grace chose her to be His first disciple – & because He loved her, He treated her like dirt (humanly speaking). There is a world of meditation in what He did by taking our nature upon Him – and so many implications for life today ! So much for Christmas being only for children; how can they appreciate the Self-humiliation of God & His Presence among us as one of us ?