A chord struck from my own history...

on this historic day. That beautiful piece, an arrangement of "Simple Gifts" played by the quartet today brought me back to my childhood. I was raised in the Lutheran church and went to Lutheran schools most of my youth. At one of our camps (6th grade, I think) we learned a song, sung to the tune of "Simple Gifts". It made me weepy as a child, and still does today:

Lord of the Dance

words by Sydney Carter, music traditional

I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on 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!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

I danced for the scribe & the pharisee
But they would not dance & they wouldn't follow me
I danced for fishermen, for James & John
They came with me & the Dance went on:

I danced on the Sabbath & I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped & they hung me 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 & they thought I'd gone
But I am the Dance & 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!


Anonymous said…
I love this song! Havent's heard it in a long time. Oh, those Lutheran roots!! Thanks Laurie, your writing touches and inspires. Deb
Anonymous said…
My, Laurie, you were a busy little blogger yesterday! I haven't seen these lyrics in a long time, but I used to love that song, too. It was written in 1963. I can't remember when I first heard it, probably some time in the 70s.

There's also a song by Kemper Crabb called "The Danse" that uses some of the same imagery. You can watch it on YouTube. It's one of my all-time favorite songs. Caedmon's Call covered it a few years ago. If you can't pick up all the lyrics, you might want to look them up. Let me know how you like it.
Laurie M. said…
Thanks, Barry. I did look them up, and listened to the old version and Caedmon's Call's as well. A great song. I love the dance motif. Though my sin nature has ruined the pure joy of dance for me in this life, I'm hoping to do a lot of it in eternity - hopefully ballet:-)) And as for Lord of the Dance, you're timing's about right. It was 1976 when I went to 6th grade camp.

My Lutheran roots have come to mean a lot to me since my conversion.

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