Article by Bethan McKernan, Independent
A Christmas carol service in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo has accidentally printed out the lyrics to late rapper Tupac Shakur’s ‘Hail Mary’ in its programme instead of the 15th century Catholic prayer.
The mix-up occurred at the 2016 Catholic Joy to the World Festival at the city’s Nelum Pokuna Theatre during one of Sri Lanka’s largest Christmas celebrations earlier this month.
Instead of finding the words “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee/blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”, the carol singers were invited to reflect on the 1997 song’s themes of mortality, violence and sex and whether they wanted to “ride or die.”
Some of the lyrics probably inappropriate for a Catholic service include: “I ain’t a killer, but don’t push me/Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin’ p****” and “…Mama told me never stop until I bust a nut/“F*** the world if they can’t adjust, it’s just as well, Hail Mary.”
Pictures of the explicit English-language lyrics in the service’s programme were uploaded to social media, where they were quickly shared thousands of times.