a Cape Breton take on the Lord of the dance

“The Jesus movement is a revolution that dances”

Shane Claiborne

I remember a bunch of years ago interviewing Cape Breton’s John Allan Cameron for my radio program. He was a funny, impish (only person I’ve ever called that), charming singer and performer of celtic/folk/country/downhome music. He was sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Celtic Music. John Allan had a show on CBC for a time and was a gentle man and a true Canadian treasure. 

John_allen_cameron

What many of his fans didn’t know was that he was also a Roman Catholic priest. His faith went deep just as did his musical roots. We spoke about his faith and how important it was to him.

When I think of the Jesus movement as a dance I remember John Allan Cameron. He died in 2006 butI always remember this one particular song. It describes Jesus as the Lord of the dance. (not to be confused with the recent song by Steven Curtis Chapman). It was an old shaker hymn and one of his signature songs.

Lord Of The Dance

written by  Sydney Carter

I danced in the morning when the world was young 
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun 
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth 
At Bethlehem I had my birth 

Dance, dance, wherever you may be 
I am the lord of the dance, said he 
And I lead you all, wherever you may be 
And I lead you all in the dance, said he 

I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees 
They wouldn’t dance, they wouldn’t follow me 
I danced for the fishermen James and John 
They came with me so the dance went on 

Dance, dance, wherever you may be 
I am the lord of the dance, said he 
And I lead you all, wherever you may be 
And I lead you all in the dance, said he 

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame 
The holy people said it was a shame 
They ripped, they stripped, they hung me high 
Left me there on the cross to die 

Dance, dance, wherever you may be 
I am the lord of the dance, said he 
And I lead you all, wherever you may be 
And I lead you all in the dance, said he 

I danced on a Friday when the world turned black 
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back 
They buried my body, they thought I was gone 
But I am the dance, and the dance goes on 

Dance, dance, wherever you may be 
I am the lord of the dance, said he 
And I lead you all, wherever you may be 
And I lead you all in the dance, said he 

They cut me down and I leapt up high 
I am the life that will never, never die 
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me 
I am the Lord of the dance, said he 

Dance, dance, wherever you may be 
I am the lord of the dance, said he 
And I lead you all, wherever you may be 
And I lead you all in the dance, said he

Yes, Lord Jesus, lead us in the dance!

Thanks John Allan Cameron for a great memory of faith that sings and dances.


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