Tupac Shakur’s “Hail Mary” is a vitriolic song that finds ’Pac and the Outlawz comparing revenge to sex and lamenting their mental states. It can be found on an album featuring artwork with Shakur interpolated into an image of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Hail Mary Prayer (or the Ave Maria) salutes the Biblical Virgin Mary and asks for forgiveness. These two things are decidedly different. However, someone managed to mix up the two versions of “Hail Mary” in the Joy To The World 2016 music festival booklet, causing the type of mistake that generally goes viral.
Facebook accounts across Sri Lanka lit up with news of the full lyrics of 2Pac’s “Hail Mary” being reprinted in the Christmas caroling section of the festival booklet. Instead of words about the “blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” attendees got Shakur rhyming, “Mama told me never stop until I bust a nut” and offering the choice of riding or dying.
The 2016 Joy to the World Festival was billed by organizers as “a fund-raiser for poverty alleviation projects jointly organised by the Archdiocese of Colombo and St. Joseph Vaz Trust.” Things didn’t quite work out that way, as one of the thousands of attendees at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Sri Lanka took a screen shot of the erroneously printed program, tweeted it, and tagged Pope Francis and CNN in the photo.