Your Majesty, I Can But Bow

It's my latest earworm, that song that keeps replaying in my mind. It's actually a hymn, titled King of Kings, Majesty.

Now, the reason why it suddenly came to mind was because of the "controversial" chorus, which original (and correct) lyrics say,
"Your Majesty, I can but bow, I lay my all, before you now".

"Controversial" because in the recent church service, it was pointed out that it should be I CAN'T BUT BOW. Now, I am no linguist, and certainly no expert in grammar, (though I've been accused of using big big words on the blog that require a certain instructor to peruse the dictionary), but I can't but wonder if CAN'T BUT is more appropriate than CAN BUT.

Then yesterday, in the shower, as the words rang in my head, I had an epiphany!!!! Strictly speaking, they're both not wrong, BUT, there is a difference.

I CAN BUT BOW, implies an absolute natural response, as in, I CAN ONLY BOW, (as in there is no other response that would be appropriate), whereas, I CAN'T BUT BOW, implies, I can't help it, but to bow. Like I can't but wonder, or I can't but yield to chomp up that mouth watering tiramisu. HL, please help me out here. It implies a choice.

So, while both wouldn't be wrong theologically, for the purpose of impact, and awe, and majesty, my personal opinion is it should remain as, "Your majesty, I can but bow".

On a different breath, I went to watch the Exorcism of Emily Rose last night, with the supposed voice of Satan on tape. Anti climax la, not scary at all, although Ms Cathay Pacific had her face shrouded in her shawl half the time, which probably would have looked even more scary than Emily contorting.

Met famous photographer, whose photos of the Dec 26th Tsunami were the first to be published in the media.


all-aboard! said…
OK for the technical side of it I've posted Can but cannot?.
kt said…
wah HL & fatboy! ur england so powderful one! i scared la... said…
just wondering on this recently LOLs

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