Dec 20 – O Key of David

Again a nice meditation from the DSMME’s and Julie at Happy Catholic joins in the exposition:

O Key of David, O royal power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.

The Key of David opens up something utterly new
– something never before imagined – the God who loves us so much he humbles himself and sets his tent among us. The God, like an adoring parent, tries to keep us near to him -even as we wander, get distracted, even turn away and reject Him. He is forever trying to gather us to him. He tries to get our attention in a million ways, from sunrise, to sunset and at every moment in between.

He courts us; he tries to catch our eye. He wants us. He loves us.

Some may not like this, but -in a goofy way- God could be singing this song, or parts of it, today, as he tells us through his prophets that we have…a brand new key. And it works with Him!

I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you’re avoiding me
I’m okay alone, but you got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I ride my bike, I roller skate, don’t drive no car
Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don’t drive
I been all around the world
Some people say, I done all right for a girl

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said, yes .. but you weren’t alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you’re avoiding me
I’m okay alone, but you’ve got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out to see
La la la la la la la la, la la la la la la
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

Related:
All Creatures of our God and King
We’re almost there

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://salesianity.blogspot.com/ Fr. Steve

    The O Antiphons have been great! Thanks for posting them. God bless those Dominican Sisters as well!

  • Old Biddy

    O Clavis David —

    I’m still a relative beginner at Latin, but it seems to me that the actual Latin here is much more vivid that the translation provided.

    “aperis et nemo claudit, claudis et nemo aperit” means “you open and no one shuts, you shut and no one opens”

    And I would translate “educ vinctum….umbra mortis” as something like “lead out from prison the one bound, sitting in darkness and the shadow of death”.

    I imagine a hero flinging open the dungeon door, unchaining the pale, emaciated, condemned prisoner and leading him out of a dark, dank, rat-infested cell into freedom and light and life.

    [Not bad for a "beginner." :-) Hence my included link to Julie and the good sisters. I simply am using the translation in my breviary, for consistency's sake -admin]

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  • http://winthir Sr. Marita

    What a gift: the Latin Gregorian chant O Antiphons! Thank you!

  • waltj

    Love the Latin. I also like the way you’ve turned the Melanie song to a more Christian interpretation. Its two original connotations are certainly less devotional. As you may know, “key” is drug slang for “kilogram”, the unit of measure for certain controlled substances, typically marijuana and cocaine. And the key-lock metaphor is an ancient one for sex.

    I’ll admit that I had a teenage crush on Melanie back in the day (even though she was a decade older than I was and already married, but who cares?). She was cute, a lot prettier to me than many of the other singers of the time, and seemed like a nice person in the interviews I saw after “Brand New Key” became a big hit. But the drug references were big turnoffs for me, even back then. Thanks, Anchoress, for giving me something better to think about when I hear this song:-).

    [I tend to be naive about drug references, and the rest of it. I've always been painfully unhip. :-) admin]

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  • Peter Warner

    Thank you, Anchoress, for this post.

    Besides being both traditional and delightful, it really really is what I needed to hear. Bless you.

    Best regards, Peter Warner.

  • Ellen

    I love the O antiphons. The monks at St. Meinrad Archabbey give a retreat based on them and it’s one I’ve always wanted to go to. Maybe next year I will.

  • Jim Hicks

    As a DJ back in the days “Brand New Key” was a hit, I have seen numerous interviews with Melanie and read more than a little bit about that song. There are no intended drug references. Sex, Yes. Drugs, No.


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