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Sydney Carter

Sydney Bertram Carter (6 May 1915â13 March 2004) was an English poet, songwriter, folk musician and Christian/Quaker, 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 featured in Aaron Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring. Another notable song is One More Step along the road I go...

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 reviews 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.

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 stat...

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