The Ave Maria Meaning and Its English/Scottish Origin
|The Trossachs is a region on the Scotland side of the England/Scotland border. This area which has been an area of both pitched battles and guerilla actions is ironically the area where the Ave Maria has its early roots. The fights have always been about maintaining Scotland as part of the United Kingdom under English rule or permitting Scotland to be a totally separate country. These battles have extended over centuries and have been immortalized in what is known as the border ballads.
Sir Walter Scott, the Writer
Sir Walter Scott, a Scotsman by birth, grew up hearing of these many battles, which became the foundation of his early years as a writer of stories. He and his family vacationed in the Trossachs region, specifically Loch(lake) Katrine. This is where Sir Walter got his inspiration for writing stories based upon border ballads.
These published stories gained him moderate recognition as an accomplished writer. In the year 1810 Sir Walter decided to publish a poem rather than a story, the poem is The Lady of the Lake which becomes the basis for the Ave Maria meaning.
Sir Walter Scott, the Poet
The poem gained wide renown because it closely resembled a border ballad about a young woman (The Lady) hiding from the King’s troops in a cave near Loch Katrine (The Lake). While hiding she is heard to sing a prayer to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.asking for help. Her prayer begins Hail Mary and continues on for three verses.
Shubert and the Modern Day Ave Maria
German composer Franz Schubert was so taken with Scott’s poem that he had it translated in to German, named it Ellen’s song and wrote the music version we hear today. At some later point an unknown writer translated the German to Latin. The first two words of the original poem were intact and translated as Ave Maria, which became the title and the Ave Maria prayer.
Few today would believe or could be convinced the Ave Maria prayer actually has its beginning in the long and bloody warfare along the England /Scotland border. Certainly most find the music and lyrics comforting and prefer to think it to be a majestic prayer to Mary. True, it is a prayer, a plea of desperation of a mythical character straight out of Sir Walter Scott’s imagination.