Sydney Carter

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Sydney Bertram Carter (6 May 1915–13 March 2004) was an English poet, songwriter, folk musician, born in Camden Town, London. He is best known for the song "Lord of the Dance" (1963), set to the tune of the American Shaker song "Simple Gifts", and the song "The Crow on the Cradle", adapted from an old folk song. Other notable songs include "Julian of Norwich", "One More Step Along the Road I go", "When I Needed a Neighbour", "Every Star Shall Sing a Carol", "The Youth of the Heart" and "Down Below".

Life and career

He studied at Christ's Hospital school in Horsham, West Sussex and Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in history in 1936. A committed pacifist, Carter joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit on the outbreak of World War II and served in Egypt, Palestine and Greece.

He worked as a lyricist for Donald Swann's revues and musicals in the 1950s and in 1962, produced an album "Putting out the Dustbin" with Sheila Hancock, with the song "Last Cigarette" on failing to give up smoking that became a minor hit.

"Lord of the Dance"

Partly inspired by Jesus, and partly by a statue of Shiva as Nataraja, Sydney wrote the lyrics "Lord Of The Dance" in 1963, as an adaptation of Joseph Brackett's "Simple Gifts", and a tribute to Shaker music. He later stated, "I did not think the churches would like it at all. I thought many people would...
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