Ten years after splitting, Take That released this self-penned number as their comeback single. It spent a month at the top of the UK singles charts, was voted The Record of the Year for 2006 by the British public, polling 15.5% of the final vote and won the Record of the Year award at the 2007 BRIT Awards. It also reached #1 in several European countries, including Germany, Spain and Switzerland.
Former 98 Degrees lead singer Nick Lachey covered this as the lead single from his 2009 album Coming Up For Air. His version took this song into the Billboard Hot 100.
This comeback single gained the former boy band new fans from some of the edgier members of the music industry. For instance, Nicky Wire, the bassist of Welsh alternative Rock band Manic Street Preachers, compared them to Neil Young. He declared: "It's the greatest comeback single in history. If Neil Young had written it, people would be calling it a masterpiece." Wire added: "It's got such a dark lyric: 'My heart is numb, has no feeling/So while I'm still healing/Just try and have a little patience'. There's also a maturity about it that suits the boys all grown-up."
Melodye from ScWhat I took from the song is asking my loved ones to be patient with me as I'm trying to heal from losing my son last July 2019. My heart is numb and has no feeling. I need time. I know that's not what the song is referring to but it has been a help listening to it.
The lyrics for "Mary, Did You Know?" were written by Christian singer and comedian Mark Lowry, after his pastor asked him to write a Christmas musical for their church. Southern gospel musician Buddy Greene later added music to his words.