Music: 19th Century Shaker tune, words adapted by Sydney Carter, 1963

Sydney Carter

Sydney Carter

'Lord Of The Dance'

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn't follow Me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John -
They came with Me
And the dance went on.


I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung Me on high,
And they left Me there
On a Cross to die.


I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black -
It's hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried My body
And they thought I'd gone,
But I am the dance,
And I still go on.


They cut Me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
If you'll live in Me -
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said He.


Stainer & Bell Ltd. London, England - 1963

Joseph Brackett

'Simple Gift'

Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers), whose last community in America (Hancock Village) died in 1960. It is now a museum.

Simple Gifts was written by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs.

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'Tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning, we come round right.

" 'Simple Gifts' was a dancing song. The Shakers called it a quick dance," "There are words in the song about bowing and bending and turning, and the Shakers actually did that as they sang those words. The song was both an instruction for dancing as well as an instruction for life."


By David Crumm. Freep "Detroit Free Press"


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