Lyrics: Inside My Name, by David Fuentes

Mary & Martha                                                                                                               David Fuentes (b. 1959)

                                                                                                                                           Lyrics by Nikki Grimes


The story of sisters Mary and Martha is a familiar Biblical passage.  In this composition by David Fuentes, New York Times best-selling author Nikki Grimes gives her own unique insight into the differing personalities of the sisters, honoring the unique ways in which they give their hearts to the Master upon his arrival in their home.



I. Inside My Name


MARTHA: I am Martha . . .


MARY:  I am Mary . . .


BOTH:  What story hides inside my name?


MARTHA:  Call me Mistress, or lady of the

house, if you will. I rule my domain.


MARY:  Call me wished-for child,

call me rebellion.


BOTH:  Does Mother know how perfectly

she called us?


MARTHA:  Like myrrh, I am strong, fragrant,

and bitter at times, but I’m devoted to friends,

loved ones, and of course, to whatever task is

at hand. Ask anyone.


MARY:  Ask anyone.  The minute there were

lessons on cooking or sewing, I slipped away

to join my brother and the other boys

at Temple, dinking in all the Rabbi had to say.

A good Jewish daughter I was not.


MARTHA:  A good Jewish daughter, I learned

to care for the needs of others, to master hearth

and home with every swing of the broom,

with every grain I ground for meal.


MARY:  My girlish looks were not yet in bloom,

and no one seemed to notice me sitting cross-

legged with Lazarus, until I grew, of course,

and my body betrayed me.


MARTHA:  What time have I to sit at the feet

of a Rabbi?  As if it were allowed.


MARY:  If only I could join the Lord.


BOTH:  Jesus alone makes way for women.


MARTHA:  Someone must serve, and we women

must do our part.  Someone must serve, someone,

someone . . . and we women must do our part.

When our Lord comes to this home he can count

on being cared for, though with all my bustleing

about, he sometimes cautions me, he sometimes

cautions me to slow my gait, to breathe, to breathe,

to breathe!  But how can I?  When he is here,

all must be perfectly in order!


MARY:  Imagine!  If I could spend each day gath’ring his words like rubies. . .  O to sit at Robboni’s feet and listen!  How rich in wisdom would I be?


BOTH:  How else can I prove my devotion?

How else can I prove my love?