In 1963, Sydney Carter (1915-2004) adapted his hymn from a 19th century Shaker melody called 'Simple Gifts' and wrote new, celebratory words.
His vision of a Christ who leads us to dance and celebrate was not aligned with some traditional Christian ideas of his day. He wrote:
By Christ I mean not only Jesus; in other times and places, other planets, there may be other Lords of the Dance. But Jesus is the one I know of first and best.
The composer also suggest singing the words in the present tense for an uplifting change: 'I dance in the morning when the world is begun...'
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Sally Fletcher, harpist
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© 2008 Heavenly Music for Earthly Events