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The Song of the Week

19 October 2009




SongsOK, I know the Christmas holiday is months away, but David Archuleta released his debut Christmas album, Christmas from the Heart, last Tuesday and well, I have been in the holiday spirit ever since. The popular admonishment, “Do not open ’til Christmas,” definitely does not apply for this one! Let me start by saying I think this CD is amazing. David’s voice was made for singing songs like these. His lovely strong voice makes these holiday classics sound better than ever. Many of the songs are sung so beautifully that I am left with goosebumps after listening to them.

David’s powerful and emotional rendition of one song in particular has literally left me breathless. The song to which I am referring is very difficult to sing. Only the most talented singers can truly pull it off. David does an outstanding job of singing this one. He not only pulls it off, but I think it is the most beautiful version I have ever heard. It sounds like it came directly from Heaven, with a children’s choir accompanying him in the background. David’s version is absolutely exquisite!

The Song of the Week is…

“Ave Maria”

Hail Mary, or “Ave Maria” (Latin), is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. It has been set to music numerous times. Among the most famous is the 1859 version by Charles Gounod, adding melody and words to Johann Sebastian Bach’s first prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier. This is the version that David Archuleta sings.

Most of the text of the Hail Mary can be found within the Gospel of Luke. The salutation, given by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28), was originally written in Koine Greek. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum (”Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”). Who translated these words into classical Latin? We may never know. But whoever wrote it created a very powerful and beautiful prayer. “Ave Maria” is one of the most revered and captivating songs ever created. To these words many additions have been made, both as prayers addressed to the Blessed Virgin (such as that prayed in The Rosary) and as musical texts.

The traditional Catholic prayer continues with Elizabeth’s greeting to her cousin Mary (Luke 1:41): Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui (”Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”); and the name “Jesus” given to Mary’s child. It concludes with words adopted by the Council of Trent in the 16th-century: Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen (”Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”).

David’s cover of “Ave Maria,” from his album Christmas from the Heart, was produced and arranged by Kurt Bestor. The music was performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, also conducted by Kurt Bestor. The Salt Lake City Children’s Choir accompanied them. David’s pronunciation of classical Latin is perfect.

Here is “Ave Maria” from David’s holiday album, Christmas from the Heart. I have included the Latin to English translation at the end.

Composed by Charles Gounod

Áve María, grátia pléna
Hail Mary, full of grace,

Dóminus técum
the Lord is with thee;

et benedícta tu in muliéribus,
and blessed art thou among women,

et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus

Sáncta María, Sáncta María, María
Holy Mary…

óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
pray for us sinners,

nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.
now and at the hour of our death.


With songs like this from David Archuleta, he will become one of the great crooners of our time! What a wonderful gift David has given us with his holiday album, not only for this Christmas, but for years to come. 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.
Take care,

Listen to Song of Last Week.

David Archuleta, the Voice

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4 responses so far ↓

  • pikepss | 1 | 19th October 2009 at 3:39 pm |

    My favorite song on David’s Christmas album. He sings this song with such emotion I get chills everytime I hear him. Many artists have recorded Ave Maria but David is the only artist that feels this most beautiful song. Thanks for spotlighting Ave Maria for song of the week!

  • Caro (unregistered) | 19th October 2009 at 5:12 pm |

    Perfect choice! And for every week. David is amazing with this song. I just can’t stop listening to it and I want the ear plugs both in and the volume just so…

    Thanks for picking this song and giving such newsy info about it. I didn’t know half of it. haha.

    But, I want to change my name to Maria.

  • minja | 2 | 19th October 2009 at 5:34 pm |

    “Ave Maria” has never sounded so reverent to my ears! David’s voice simply exudes purity and love. It’s hard not to cry every time I hear his “Ave Maria.” Thanks, Katie! I especially liked that you included the Latin lyrics so we can follow along with David’s wonderful diction and phrasing.

  • Judith (unregistered) | 22nd October 2009 at 8:17 pm |

    Katie……Ave Maria. How many times did we discuss the Christmas songs we wished for on a David CDC? And here it is….Beautiful! You did a wonderful article and thank you for the Latin to English translation. I love the language of Latin and hearing and reading it again is a treat. Wishing you an early Blessed holiday season!