8. Lord Of The Dance
“Lord of the Dance” is a hymn with words written by English songwriter Sydney Carter in 1963. He borrowed the tune from the American Shaker song “Simple Gifts”. The hymn is widely performed in English-speaking congregations and assemblies. It follows the idea of a traditional English carol, “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” which tells the gospel story in the first person voice of Jesus of Nazareth with the device of portraying Jesus’ life and mission as a dance.
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,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
9. When A Knight Won His Spurs
When a Knight Won His Spurs is a children’s hymn written by Jan Struther and set to a folk melody (Stowey) and harmonised by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The hymn first appeared in Songs of Praise in 1931. The hymn is sometimes performed by folk singers on account of the folk origins of its tune, notably by Martin Simpson during Prom 5 (Folk day – part 2) in the BBC Proms on July 20, 2008. An up tempo version can be found on Blyth Power’s 1990 album Alnwick and Tyne.
When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valour he rode through the land.
10. Morning Has Broken
“Morning Has Broken” is a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and was inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, then set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune known as “Bunessan” (it shares this tune with the 19th century Christmas Carol “Child in the Manger”). It is often sung in children’s services and in Funeral services. English pop musician and folk singer Cat Stevens included a version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat. The song became identified with Stevens due to the popularity of this recording. It reached number six on the U.S. BillboardHot 100, number one on the U.S. easy listening chart in 1972, and number four on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts.
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world