Words we don't quite get

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Nick Baty
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Words we don't quite get

Post by Nick Baty » Sun May 31, 2009 8:56 am

This morning we'll be singing "The same to thee great Paraclete" – I'm sure we're not the only ones – and I was just mulling on the fact that "Paraclete" means nothing to me. According to my dictionary it is: "the Holy Spirit as advocate or counsellor based on John 14:16, 26.

I remember singing "O loving Pelican" which most collections have dropped from O Godhead hid, definitely in my top ten of all time, along with The Village People's Go West and Handel's Lascia ch'io pianga.

As a child I had not idea what was meant by "Sojourners in this vale of tears..." and had surgical visions from "who for my sake, sweet blood from Mary's veins didst take..."

And I was just wondering, apart from the usual suspect of Colours of Day – which is as incomprehensible to me as MacArthur Park, although I do love the Donna Summer version – how many hymn words/lines do we not understand?

alan29
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by alan29 » Sun May 31, 2009 10:15 am

I'm having Colours of Day at my cremation. I hope to be hovering somewhere to watch their faces as they got to the chorus.
Alan

Anne
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by Anne » Sun May 31, 2009 6:41 pm

"Guard and defend me from the foe malign, in deaths dread moments make me only thine...." I never quite understood what the Foe Malign was about - is it to do with a malignant cancer? And our death should not be a 'dread' moment, shouldn't it be our finest hour?

NorthernTenor
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by NorthernTenor » Sun May 31, 2009 7:59 pm

Anne wrote:"Guard and defend me from the foe malign, in deaths dread moments make me only thine...." I never quite understood what the Foe Malign was about - is it to do with a malignant cancer? And our death should not be a 'dread' moment, shouldn't it be our finest hour?


It may or may not be my finest moment, but there's a fair chance it will be uncomfortable. I expect I shall need all the help I can get.
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Gwyn
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by Gwyn » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:52 am

Gladly my cross I'd bear

It's difficult not to immediately think of Gladly, my cross-eyed bear.

I think Gladly was the name of the moth-eaten teddy bear owned by Baby Grumplin in "The Perishers" cartoon strip.

JW
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by JW » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:30 pm

We often sang this from 'Faith of our Fathers' when I was a child:

"how sweet would be their children's fate if they like them could die for thee" - it may be an admirable sentiment but it doesn't fit in with our modern church. I mentally cross my fingers nowadays if I have to sing it.
JW

alan29
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by alan29 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:35 pm

I seem to remember that we had to be "mindful of our Saviour's bidding and of the Prairie Tortoise ..." as the intro to the Our father. Tell me I am not wrong.
Alan

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Gwyn
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by Gwyn » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:56 pm

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation, through your goodness we have this swine to offer . . .

lesley wright
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by lesley wright » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:32 pm

There's a wonderful Methodist hymn "Come, thou fount of every blessing" which includes the line "here I raise my Ebenezer". Can anyone tell me why one would want to raise an Ebenezer, even if one had such a useful article?

Petrasancta
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by Petrasancta » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:53 pm

Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" —1 Samuel 7:12, NLT

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musicus
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by musicus » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:03 am

Petrasancta knows all about holy stones, of course. :D
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Vox Americana
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by Vox Americana » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:33 am

lesley wright wrote:here I raise my Ebenezer…

and there was I thinking it was a champagne bottle somewhere between a Jeroboam and Melchizedek. :oops:
Vox

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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by quaeritor » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:31 am

Anne wrote:"Guard and defend me from the foe malign, in deaths dread moments make me only thine...." I never quite understood what the Foe Malign was about - is it to do with a malignant cancer?


As a small child - and quite a precocious ****** - I'd got hold of the idea that "malign" was pronounced "malinne" (closer to "malignant" but possibly derived from some Latin word in the responses to the Mass which we all learned off by heart (didn't we?)) - which meant that it had to be "in death's dread moment make me only thin" - which as I was a plump little lad seemed to me to imply a criticism of my current physique. Oh, the psychological torture . . !

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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by organist » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:59 pm

Laughing lol Thanks Gwyn I'll never be able to sing that line again without thinking of swineflu... :P

alan29
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Re: Words we don't quite get

Post by alan29 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:17 am

Surely it's a misprint for "toe malign" - a reference to trench foot.
Alan

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