30 Day Song Challenge – Day 05

Posted: June 15, 2011 in Meme, Music, Personal

Day 05 – A Song That Reminds You Of Someone – Bach – Ave Maria

A song that reminds me of someone. There are quite a few, as generally I use songs to remember events and people, but I would have to say the one that I will always associate with a person would have to be “Bach – Ave Maria”. This will always remind me of my Nan, as when I was a child, I would accompany my Nan to church, both on Sundays and for the occasional funeral and wedding.

My Nan would play the organ at church, so she would let me sit up next to her at the organ to listen and watch her play. At the time, I didn’t really appreciate the experience, although I enjoyed it, looking back on it, I wish I had paid more attention.

My Nan’s playing of Ave Maria was beautiful, with the notes singing from the pipes of the organ, deliberate yet softly. Nan had played the same organ at our church for 75 years, with only a few days off for medical reasons. She must have played Ave Maria a thousand times, as she always had the music up, but never turned the pages. She knew it by heart. Occasionally she was accompanied by a singer who requested it to be played in a specific key to match their voice. Nan would transpose the music in her head, still not referring to any sheet music. She never hit a wrong note that I heard.

Now, anytime I hear this song, I will remember her wonderful organ playing abilities. I still have people tell me how Nan played for their parent’s wedding and funeral, as well as their own wedding. Her talent spanned generations of some families, and was present at all of their important life-changing occasions.

My only regret was that I never recorded her playing. Her Great-Grandchildren would have loved hearing her play, much as I have over the years. You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone.

Latin Text
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

English Translation
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.


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