"Mary Don't You Weep" (alternately titled "O Mary Don't You Weep", "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep, Don't You Mourn", or variations thereof) is a Spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War – thus it is what scholars call a "slave song," "a label that describes their origins among the enslaved," and it contains "coded messages of hope and resistance." It is one of the most important of Negro spirituals.
The song 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 becomes popular during the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, a song that explicitly 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 and became one of the most well-known songs of that movement.
"Prince's estate has shared a moving video for Mary Don't You Weep, which 'tackles gun violence and its impact on youth in America', beginning with a quote from the Purple One himself. Directed by Salomon Ligthelm and filmed in New York, it deals with the aftermath of a young man's death by shooting. The ghost of the young man, and his accompanying angelic guardians, then painfully observes his family's journey into grief towards his funeral service and final goodbye. Without attempting to go for the heartstring-tugging approach this is a cumulatively emotional piece of work to accompany the stripped-back piano and voice arrangement of Prince's blues song. And this is the first original Prince music video to be released posthumously." (David Knight, Promonews)File Hashes