Several times a year t.v commercials here, from cars to cosmetics, use this song as their background music. Most often the version they use includes singing (in Latin) so it always amuses me to hear this unintentional tribute to Mary. I say unintentional for one because many Japanese know very little about Christianity or Christian culture such as music. Furthermore any time I have mentioned the use of Ave Maria to Japanese friends they say the same thing which is that people basically like the song and have no idea what the words are or so forth. I had one good, educated friend comment it is just a song but no one says those words anymore upon which I showed them my Japanese translation of the Hail Mary and said thatis what the song is. I also showed this person my rosary and explained how all those little beads are Ave Marias, I have found that when I do explain things like this to people they quietly listen and don’t really say much after, which is fine, since everything I am saying is probably very new to them so they have to think it over.
This music topic also ties into Christmas which I will write about when advent starts. At Christmas though there are religious (and secular) carols played everywhere such as in stores, on t.v, and even on a sightseeing boat I was on one time. These are carols usually in English and include such songs as Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Needless to say it is a strange experience to hear the songs, be fully aware of what is being sung yet most people don’t know or celebrate but here is the music. Even more strange is that while hearing the songs makes me momentarily happy I end up feeling worse after because there is no soul behind all the decorations and music, like it is a cold parody of Christmas and I end up wishing they didn’t play the songs.
While hearing Christmas carols here has an unexpectedly bad effect on me the Ave Maria never does as I find it a pleasant surprise to hear while watching t.v.