Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Got A Kiss o' the King's Hand....

Today is the feast day of Christ the King. It is a fairly new feast within the liturgical calender, having been instituted in 1925, but Jesus Christ has been honoured as King by all Christians since the very earliest days of the Church. It is, I think, a particularly beautiful and appropriate feast for our times, when temporal rulers fall so short of the standard. It is good to remember that we serve a King, Who genuinely loves and cares for His people. Here is an old picture I came up with a few years back to mark the day:

The title of the post comes from an old piobaireachd, A Kiss of the King's Hand. I had originally intended to post something particular to the day, but most of the hymns I came across featured organs and enthusiastic congregational singing. Now, mind you, when you hear the organ live, and you are part of the enthusiastic congregation, that is a grand sound indeed. However, youtube videos of the same tend to lack a certain something, so I am posting the piobaireachd instead.

The story behind the tune, is that a piper in the army or Charles II played for the king, who was so pleased with the music, that he commended the piper, and allowed him to kiss his hand. The piper wrote this tune to commemorate the event. Here are the words that go to it - and this is what always pops into my head each Sunday after Holy Communion:

Thuair mi Pòg s’ Pòg s’ Pòg
 ga’n d’thuair mi Pòg o’ Laimh an Righ…
 cha’d chur seid a n Croicion Caorach
a thuair an turram a thuair mi.
I have had a kiss, a kiss, a kiss,
I have had a kiss of the king’s hand:--
 No one who blew in a sheep’s skin,
 Has received such honour as I have

As a side note: I am not sure how widely spread the belief was, but there was a period, at least, in Scotland, when it was believed that the hands of the King were blessed, since they ruled with authority coming from God. Amongst other things, it was believed that the hands of the King were the hands of a healer. Readers of The Lord of the Rings will appreciate the historical connection.


Katrina DeLallo said...

I got it. I got that reference! :)

Mahri said...

Great minds, you know!