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Give Me a Laser

There was a song in the 80s called Kyrie by Mr. Mister that was quite popular. My friend Chrissie and I used to sing it all the time while wandering the campus of Wheaton College. Do you guys remember this song? Well, I gotta tell ya, I grew up attending church, but the phrase “kyrie eleison” was one I had never heard until this song started playing on the radio. And, if you’re a Protestant girl from the suburbs, the first time you hear the phrase “kyrie eleison” sung on the radio it may just sound like “give me a laser” and not “kyrie eleison” at all. Chrissie clued me in on the real lyrics when she stopped laughing. Kyrie Eleison? Whaaaa? With just a little research (I was an aspiring librarian even then) I learned that the phrase’s origins are Medieval and it translates to mean “lord have mercy.” Well, that’s nice.

So, yesterday? I cast on Kiri and the song Kyrie was running through my head. Kiri. Kyrie. You see the connection, right? And as I started knitting with black lace mohair, I got to thinking about my misheard song lyrics to this song. Pretty soon I was wishing for a laser so I could actually see what I was doing. Black lace mohair? It’s enough to make a girl go blind.

And then I started thinking about the translation of Kyrie Eleison and I started praying.
Lord Have Mercy and help me see where I made a mistake.
Lord Have Mercy and help me tink back 3 rows to fix the mistake you helped me find.
Lord Have Mercy while I rip this whole thing out and start over.

I’d show you a picture of Kiri in it’s present state but it seems silly since right now it mostly looks like the hairnet the lunch lady at my elementary school used to wear. She scared the crap out of me when I was a kid so I need to get cracking on Kiri and make it bigger so it stops reminding me of Mrs. Holmes.

I’ll be knitting. And muttering. Give me a laser. Lord have mercy.


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. About four years ago, when my son was in kindergarten, we were listening to Christmas music on the radio, when B asked me what the dog did that was so naughty. I listened for a moment. It was Jose Feliciano singing Feliz Navidad, but B thought he was singing Please, Naughty Dog. We’ve been laughing about it ever since.

  2. Very funny indeed! 🙂
    It’s a Greek phrase. In Catholic mass, we sing it (or a translation of it) every mass. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison. (Lord, have mercy of us, Christ, have mercy of us, Lord, have mercy of us). We sing it in the beginning of the mass, after admitting we are sinners in need of forgiveness from God and the community. Then, we ask for mercy, and then we listen to the Bible.

    I also preferred Kiri (to Birch) and am looking forward to seeing pictures!

  3. lol i remember the song too (and thinking that ‘kyrie eleison’ didn’t really belong in there…but that’s my weird way of thinking i suppose)…and you mentioned one of my all time favorite websites…considering i hear lyrics wrong consistently (do NOT ask what i heard instead of “dirty deeds done dirt cheap” lol), it’s an ideal site for me 😉

    you might try an ott light/natural daylight bulb/strong light over your shoulder rather than a laser…you wouldn’t want to burn holes in kiri 😉 it’s also supposed to help if you put something white behind/under your knitting to help see the stitches better (though i haven’t tried that myself…the ott light works great for me, even at 2am, prime knitting time for me)

  4. I love this post. LOVE.

    Being a singer for the longest time, I sang many masses and Gregorian Chant stuff-Kyries are very prevalent. It’s funny that it was even in that song, no wonder people got the lyrics wrong.

    One of the funny re-told stories in our house is about the Tom Petty song Free Fallin’. My then three year old, being a Sesame Street fan and about to be four thought that the lyrics were “now I’m three, three fourin’.” Family legend, that one is. I’ll never sing along to that song correctly again. I had one over the summer, a song from my teens that I had the words wrong to all this time, and my twenty year old knew. When I remember it I will be sure to share, it was hysterical.

  5. I’m with Theresa – I LOVE this post!! From the mistaken song lyrics to the mohair hairnet. I am sitting at my desk trying not to snort I am laughing so damn hard.

    All I can think of is my sister asking me what a “yacata” was.
    “A what???”
    “You know, like in the song… ‘If you like peein’ in yacatas… gettin’ caught in the rain'”

    Peein’ in yacatas???? Now THAT’S what I’d be looking for in a personal ad.

  6. I had to come over here because you are one of the few commenters on Stephanie’s blog who say “wicked good…”

    And I think I just died laughing–I swear, I can’t knit the Kiri shawl not just because I look dorky in triangles, but also because I will be doomed to hear that damned song in my head for the entire time. And while I’m ripping and swearing, it is just cruel and unusual punishment to also have to be singing Mr. Mister in my head…

    My lunch lady wore a hairnet like that too, and was about the size of a Humvee. Scared the shit out of me.

    Thanks for the laugh and for knowing, you know, the proper adjectives for a night out with the Harlot 😉

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