Ave Maria was one of my mother’s favourite songs.

Although she’d been brought up in a Catholic school and had an Irish Catholic father, she was not religious. However, she had a good voice — a soprano’s voice. And she was capable of dissolving into tears when she heard a certain song. One of these that I remember causing this effect was The Wind Beneath Your Wings sung by Bette Midler.

I love this hymn sung by Nelson Eddy. The shots of the Vatican and the Michaelangelo statue of La Pieta provide such a beautiful background for it. There’s something about this song that touches me deeply. See the YouTube video for this.

Perhaps I’m my mother’s daughter, after all. Only thing is, I couldn’t sing like her. In fact, I was tone-deaf during my childhood and most of my adulthood. Or did I have nothing to sing about?

The following information is taken from Wikipedia.

The Angelic Salutation, Hail Mary, or Ave Maria (Latin) is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Hail Mary is used within the Catholic Church, and it forms the basis of the Rosary. It was made famous and popular when set to music by Bach, and also Schubert.

The prayer incorporates two passages from Saint Luke’s Gospel: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,” and “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

In mid-13th-century Western Europe the prayer consisted only of these words with the single addition of the name “Mary” after the word “Hail”, as is evident from the commentary of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the prayer.

The first of the two passages from Saint Luke’s Gospel is the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, originally written in Koine Greek. The opening word of greeting, χαῖρε, chaire, here translated “Hail,” literally has the meaning “rejoice” or “be glad.” This was the normal greeting in the language in which Saint Luke’s Gospel is written and continues to be used in the same sense in Modern Greek. Accordingly, both “Hail” and “Rejoice” are valid English translations of the word (“Hail” reflecting the Latin translation, and “Rejoice” reflecting the original Greek).

Listen to this version of the song and tell me if it doesn’t move you to tears
  • Ave Maria sung by Noa, an Israeli Jewish woman