Lord of the Dance
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Lord of the Dance

Shaker melody

1. 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.

“I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,

I will lead you all in the Dance,” said he.

2. 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 for John;

They came with me and the dance went on.

3. I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame,

The holy people, they said it was a shame;

They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high,

And they left me there on a cross to die.

4. 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.

5. 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.


Text: Sydney B. Carter, 1915–2004, alt. Music adapt. by Sydney B. Carter. Text and music © 1963, Stainer & Bell, Ltd., London, England. All rights reserved. Administered by Hope Publishing Co. Used with permission.