In 1638, many members of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland signed a document called the National Covenant. By doing so, they were declaring that they acknowledged only Jesus Christ as the spiritual head of their church, and not any king or queen. This had become necessary because the Stuart kings believed in the Divine Right of Monarchs and saw themselves as head of the church. In the previous year, Charles I had forcibly introduced the Book of Common Prayer, invoking the wrath of the common people who faced the threat of torture, transportation or execution if they did not use the new liturgy and worship at their local church. The net result of this was that many met illegally in the countryside or in barns and large houses. These meetings became known as 'conventides' and many took place in the south-west of the country. Anyone caught attending was at risk of execution by the muskets of the dragoons who were employed in the area for that specific purpose. This music was written to honour the bravery and loyalty of these Christians to their faith, in the face of extreme danger, in the hope that it will inspire us also to be faithful. There are overtones of military threat, secrecy and solidarity. An old pentatonic tune is used, which the composer heard as a boy being sung to the words The Lord's My Shepherd.