The beautiful hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The only one considered so perfect to be left untouched by the humanist reforms of Pope Urban.

Translations abound - it is particularly tricky to do the hymn justice due to the density of thought packed in so few syllables.

The video in the heading is by a group called Chanticleer and they follow the ictus markings. The last line has this funny emphasis of the last syllable which isn’t a very Latin thing to do. One theory is that the French monks at Solesmes were influenced by their own accents when marking up that one. Either way you sing it - follow your choir leader!

Another recording worth a mention is this one from Poland. It is a bit more embellished and a little more upbeat.

Ave maris stella, Dei Mater alma, atque semper Virgo, felix caeli porta.

Ave stella maris, alma mater Dei, atque semper virgo, felix porta caeli.

Hail star {of the sea} sweet Mother {of God} and ever virgin, happy gate {of heaven}

Hail star of ocean, Child divine who barest, Mother ever virgin, heaven's portal fairest.

Sumens illud Ave Gabrielis ore, funda nos in pace, mutans Evæ nomen.

sumens illud Ave ore Gabrielis funda nos in page, mutans nomen Evae.

receiving that Ave {from the mouth} {of Gabriel} establish us in peace reversing {the name} {of Eve}

Taking that sweet Ave, erst by Gabriel spoken, Eva's name reversing, be of peace the token.

Solve vincla reis, profer lumen cæcis, mala nostra pelle, bona cuncta posce.

Solve reis vincla; profer lumen caecis, pelle {mala nostra;} posce {cuncta bona}

loosen {for the guilty} {their chains} bring light {to the blind} {drive away} {our evils} {ask for} {all good things}

Break the sinners fetters, Light to blind restoring, All our ills dispelling, Every boon imploring

Monstra te esse matrem, sumat per te precem qui pro nobis natus tulit esse tuus.

Monstra te esse matrem, per te sumat preces qui natus pro nobis tulit esse tuus.

Show thyself {to be} {a mother} through thee {may He receive} {our prayers} who born for us bore {to be} thine

Show thyself a Mother In thy supplication; He will hear who chose thee At his Incarnation.

Virgo singularis, inter omnes mitis, nos culpis solutes mites fac et castos.

Singularis Virgo, mitis inter omnes, fac nos solutos culpis, mites et castos

{O peerless} Virgin, gentle among all make us freed {from sins} gentle and chaste

Maid all maids excelling, Passing meek and lowly, Win for sinners pardon, Make us chaste and holy.

Vitam præsta puram, iter para tutum, ut videntes Jesum semper collætemur.

Praesta {vitam puram,} para {tutum iter} ut videntes Jesum, collaetemur semper

bestow {a pure life} provide {a safe journey} that beholding Jesus {we may rejoice together} forever

As we onward journey Aid our weak endeavour, Till we gaze on Jesus And rejoice forever.

Sit laus Deo Patri, summo Christo decus, Spiritui Sancto honor, tribus unus. Amen.

Laus sit Deo Patri, decus {summo Christo} {Sancto Spiritui} unus honor Tribus.

praise be {to God} {the Father} {glory be} {to the supreme Christ} {and to the Holy Ghost} one {honour be} {to the Three}

Father, Son and Spirit, Three in One confessing, Give we equal glory Equal praise and blessing. Amen.