Sacred Music Sunday: I Danced in the Morning
I Danced in the Morning, also called Lord of the Dance is a hymn by Sydney Carter written in 1963. The hymn uses dance as a metaphor for the life and ministry of Jesus. I really like the metaphor because it’s a reminder that the gospel is supposed to be joyful. Plus, it speaks to me because of my background as a dancer.
The tune has been used in multiple settings. Originally, it was used in the 19th century Shaker hymn Simple Gifts. Aaron Copland also used it as the theme for the ballet Appalachian Spring. It’s also the main musical theme for Michael Flatley’s dance show Lord of the Dance, though this hymn predates the dance show by a few decades.
A handful of Christian denominations view dancing as sinful, but I’m grateful that we’re not among them. As cheesy as roadshows and dance festivals are, and as cringe-worthy as singles dances are, I’m glad we have a theology of the body that embraces dance. God made us embodied, and we can rejoice in our corporeal nature.