“Lord of the Dance” – Neo-Pagan version by Aiden Kelly and Ann Cass


Lorna at the From Peneverdant put a few stanzas of thisNeo-Pagan version of the Lord of the Dance in one of her comments in a recent post, and I asked her for the source, and she sent me the link to it at Sacred Texts which I am pasting complete here below. I think it is a wonderful song for the Yule season. The pictures I have scattered throughout I once again unfortunately have sources for as most are from Tumblr sites with multiple links, so my apologies to the photographers and artists.

Moon Fire Stonehedge


In response to many requests for information about the neo-paganversion of Lord Of The Dance….                            

The words are credited to Aidan Kelly, C. Taliesin Edwards, and AnnCass; the tune (when it isn’t “Simple Gifts”) is credited to JennyPeckham-Vanzant, and may be an old shape-note hymn. Aidan Kelly and C. Taliesin Edwards may be the same person.                                   

 According to the article in the filksong magazine “Filker Up #3,” (areprint from _Kantele_ #12, Fall 1982, and written by Cathy Cook-MacDonald), the first four verses were written by Kelly and Edwards,four more by Ann Cass in 1975-6, and the four seasonal verses by Ann Cass in 1976. Gwydion recorded the song, with variant lyrics, on his Songs Of The Old Religion_ tape (not the entire song, though).A version of it can also be found on the tape _Celtic Circle Dance_,by Joe Bethancourt.

yule cone of power


  She danced on the water, and the wind was Her horn

  The Lady laughed, and everything was born

  And when She lit the sun and its’ light gave Him birth

  The Lord of the Dance first appeared on the Earth


(Chorus): Dance, dance, where ever you may be

          I am the Lord of the Dance, you see!

          I live in you, and you live in Me

          And I lead you all in the Dance, said He!


  I danced in the morning when the World was begun

  I danced in the Moon and the Stars and the Sun

  I was called from the Darkness by the Song of the Earth

  I joined in the Song, and She gave Me the Birth!


  I dance in the Circle when the flames leap up high

  I dance in the Fire, and I never, ever, die

  I dance in the waves of the bright summer sea

  For I am the Lord of the wave’s mystery


  I sleep in the kernel, and I dance in the rain

  I dance in the wind, and thru the waving grain

  And when you cut me down, I care nothing for the pain;

  In the Spring I’m the Lord of the Dance once again!


  I dance at the Sabbat when you dance out the Spell

  I dance and sing that everyone be well

  And when the dancing’s over do not think that I am gone

  To live is to Dance! So I dance on, and on!


  I see the Maidens laughing as they dance in the Sun

  And I count the fruits of the Harvest, one by one

  I know the Storm is coming, but the Grain is all stored

  So I sing of the Dance of the Lady, and Her Lord:


  The Horn of the Lady cast its’ sound ‘cross the Plain

  The birds took the notes, and gave them back again

  Till the sound of Her music was a Song in the sky

  And to that Song there is only one reply:


  The moon in her phases, and the tides of the sea

  The movement of the Earth, and the Seasons that will be

  Are the rhythm for the dancing, and a promise thru the years

  That the Dance goes on thru all our joy, and tears


  We dance ever slower as the leaves fall and spin

  And the sound of the Horn is the wailing of the wind

  The Earth is wrapped in stillness, and we move in a trance,

  But we hold on fast to our faith in the Dance!


  The sun is in the southland and the days grow chill

  And the sound of the horn is fading on the hill

  ‘Tis the horn of the Hunter, as he rides across the plain

  And the Lady sleeps ’til the Spring comes again


  The Sun is in the Southland and the days lengthen fast

  And soon we will sing for the Winter that is past

  Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn

  And we dance the Dance of the Sun’s return!


  They danced in the darkness and they danced in the night

  They danced on the Earth, and everything was light

  They danced out the Darkness and they danced in the Dawn

  And the Day of that Dancing is still going on!                                 

  I gaze on the Heavens and I gaze on the Earth

  And I feel the pain of dying, and re-birth

  And I lift my head in gladness, and in praise

  For the Dance of the Lord, and His Lady gay


  I dance in the stars as they whirl throughout space

  And I dance in the pulse of the veins in your face

  No dance is too great, no dance is too small,

  You can look anywhere, for I dance in them all!


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