Lord of the Dance
  • Is it just me or is this song extremely hateable?

    I never liked singing it from the pews, but having been in choirs for several years, when it comes up for us to sing, it's a cause of great embarrassment for me. We're going to have to sing it next week and I'm seriously contemplating not showing up so I can avoid it.

    Someone tell me this song has some redeeming value and that I'm the one who is all screwed up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVwGoYWWF8
  • TCJ
    Posts: 607
    It's folk music with awful lyrics. Talk about making religion trite.

    Why not just write some new non-religious lyrics about dancing in the dining hall or something and sing sacred music at Mass instead?

    I would definitely not show up that week.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,726
    In my 18 years at my post we have not sung that, nor will we ever as long as I am there. I can't even figure out what the hell it is about.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • TCJ
    Posts: 607
    Here is my take on it. Excuse two small breaks in meter.

    I danced in the morning
    When the day was begun
    with my bacon and eggs
    and some jam on my bun
    And I came from the kitchen
    and I danced on the rug
    with cream and coffee
    in my mug

    Dance, then, wherever you may be,
    I am the Lord of the Dance, you see.
    And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
    And I'll serve some crumpets and scones and tea

    I danced in the morn
    And the afternoon
    And on until night
    'Til the rising of the moon
    I danced by the T.V.
    With chips and some pop,
    My fav'rite show
    And I couldn't stop

    I danced on the bath mat
    And I sang some songs
    My wife shouted out
    “I hope you don't take long!”
    I dried and I dressed
    The towel I hung to dry
    and I left the room
    on a dancing high

    I danced at the table
    when I saw a Big Mac
    It's hard to think
    When you always need a snack
    They carried my body
    When my heart stopped dead
    But I will still dance,
    When I get my meds.

    They cut me open
    But I wouldn't cry
    Dance is my life
    I'll never, never die
    I'll live on then
    and dance is my goal
    When I get out
    of the hospital
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,380
    I hadn't sung this song in years when I found myself visiting a parish and listening to:

    They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high...
    And left me there on a cross to die....

    DANCE THEN WHEREVER YOU MAY BE!
    I AM THE LORD OF THE DANCE SAID HE!....


    It was just bizarre.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,165
    Some say that Sidney Carter derived the theme from Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, which is quite a nice carol to a jolly tune.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,656
    Ripoff folk music, also done by Aaron Copland--but a lot better; no text!
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,036
    Well the tune is a beautiful Shaker melody, and is quite lovely when set by Copland Diemer and others - don't let the bad taste versions spoil the tune.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,528
    The song is not inspired by a traditional Christian concept of who Jesus is.

    This page at the publisher's site has a quote from the author:
    https://stainer.co.uk/lord-of-the-dance/
    Thanked by 2Carol eft94530
  • Carol
    Posts: 415
    I CANNOT stand this song. It is a prime example of mismatch of lyric and melody as mentioned by Canadash. It makes no sense. Thanks for the laughs, though.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • "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. I sing of the dancing pattern in the life and words of Jesus."

    Oh please.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,528
    (Psst: even the Shakers who made this charming little melody and all that nice furniture were not orthodox believers in the Holy Trinity either.)
  • Canadash says it's bizarre -
    There must be some mistake -
    Baudelaire was of the opinion that le beau est toujours bizarre.
    (Of course, Baudelaire could have been mistaken.)
  • Speaking of "dance," I will never forget the shock I once had when I had to attend a diocesan mass, long ago, for the supposed "liturgical arts." While singing the opening hymn, 13 young teen girls dressed in Salome-like vailes danced, skipped, hopped, flopped and rotated their way down the aisles of the church while holding ceramic bowls of incense. I couldn't help but think that I was at some 3rd rate wanna-be reproduction of a tacky Italian B rated (or worse) Hercules movie of the 60s. Thankfully, there wasn't a high priestess following - YET!
  • Like Ken, I once was surprised (very surprised) by 'liturgical dance'. This was decades ago, when it was in vogue amongst certain liturgically chic folk. Not only were they in the procession, they danced before the altar at the offertory - this was in place of the usual anthem. One of the dancers (for some reason) approached me after the 'liturgy', presumably thinking that I was interested, and saying to me words to the effect that 'many people don't like liturgical dance because they have never seen it done tastefully. There is a right was to do it - you have to do it right'. And, of course, in her mind the way she and her cohorts had done it was the 'right way'. I said something like
    'oh, indeed!' and departed from her.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,726
    We had some who tried to do liturgical dance before the bishop banned it. This was, of course, in the most liberal parish in town where never is heard a discouraging word about anything. The pastor had one sermon - just love and can't we all just get along? Some say he walked on water. I say he was just all wet. Those aging dancers had seen their best days come and go and those tights had cellulite.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • >> the most liberal parish in town where never is heard a discouraging word about anything.

    well, almost anything. For example, see thread named "Warning from Pastor: No gregorian music or in latin"
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • From Lord of the Dance Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Dance_(hymn)
    In writing the lyrics to "Lord of the Dance" in 1963, Sydney Carter was inspired partly by Jesus, but also partly by a statue of the Hindu God Shiva as Nataraja (Shiva's dancing pose) which sat on his desk,[3] and was partly intending simply to give tribute to Shaker music. He later stated, "I did not think the churches would like it at all. I thought many people would find it pretty far flown, probably heretical and anyway dubiously Christian. But in fact people did sing it and, unknown to me, it touched a chord ... Anyway, it's the sort of Christianity I believe in."[3]


    the hymn tune is Shaker. the text is heretical. Some pastors and music directors think it's ok because of the Shaker tune...it's not.
  • Is it just me or is this song extremely hateable?


    Remember Perelandra? Where the character of Ransom is commanded to attack an evil entity, and for the first time in his life does so without any moral qualms whatsoever?

    You should have that same sort of feeling about hating this song. No remorse. Whatsoever.

    (Although I should admit that Sydney Carter's "Julian of Norwich" is a charming, if tad puerile, folk song.)
    Thanked by 2Carol matildac