musiclover Posted March 18, 2004 Share Posted March 18, 2004 I didn't know about him until I saw his obituary. But even in death, his life story is so inspiring, at least to me. I just spent one hour getting to know more about him, and it touched me very much. So I'm sharing it here. You don't have to like it or anything... Author of 'Lord of the Dance' Dies at 88 Wed Mar 17,10:03 AM ET LONDON - Sydney Carter, a skeptical Christian whose song "Lord of the Dance" has entered many of the world's hymnals, has died. He was 88. Carter died Saturday in London, said his publisher, Stainer & Bell. The cause of death was not given, but Carter had suffered from Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) for several years. In a survey in the 1990s, "Lord of the Dance" was rated the fifth most popular song at school religious assemblies in Britain. Carter's "One More Step" ranked No. 1, and "When I Needed a Neighbor" was sixth. "They are songs which can be sung in a Christian context, but they all had to mean something to me because I was often on the edge of not believing," Carter said in an interview with The Times of London in 1996. "Lord of the Dance" used an American Shaker tune, "Simple Gifts," and Carter said the words were partly inspired by a statue of the Hindu deity Shiva which he owned. "I did not think the churches would like it at all. I thought many people would find it pretty far flown, probably heretical and anyway dubiously Christian," he once said. Carter's skeptical attitude was reflected in the titles of two of his books, "The Rock of Doubt" and "Dance in the Dark." "Bibles, legends, history are signposts: they are pointing to the future, not the past. Do not embrace the past or it will turn into an idol," he wrote. One of this most controversial songs, "Friday Morning," put words in the mouth of a robber who was crucified with Jesus: "You can blame it on to Pilate, you can blame it on the Jews, "You can blame it on the Devil, it's God I accuse. "It's God they ought to crucify, instead of you and me, "I said to the carpenter a-hanging on the tree." Carter served in World War II with the Friends Ambulance Unit, run by Quakers, in the Middle East and Greece, where he was impressed by traditional Greek dancing. In the 1950s, he wrote material for the popular British entertainer Donald Swann. One of Carter's hits was "My Last Cigarette," and his "I Want a Little Bomb Like You" was a marching song for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. His anti-war song "Crow on the Cradle" was recorded by Judy Collins in 1962. Carter is survived by his wife, Neela, and their son. ___ On the Net: Carter profile, http://www.stainer.co.uk/carter.html Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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