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.
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.
Words by Sydney Carter, used with permission. Sung to the tune of the old Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts,” this song is a classic in Revels productions around the U.S. At the end of the song, the lights come up and audience members join the cast in a long, interweaving line of dance. Go here for more information about Revels shows across the country.
This knotwork design was adapted from a border pattern in the Book of Durrow, an 8th century Irish illuminated manuscript. Here is a review of the Celtic Design series of books I discovered a couple of years later, but at the time I made this I literally copied a page from an art book that showed this border and enlarged it at Kinko’s, then traced the design and lettered along the strands. The first iteration I made was with the words to Simple Gifts. When Revels, Inc. asked me to a card for them, they asked for a variation on that tune, which is Lord of the Dance. The Man in the Book of Durrow‘s illumination, surrounded by this knotwork, is pictured below.
Calligraphy and design by Cari Ferraro, 1994
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