At sunrise on Beltane the pagans all come
To the banks of the river where the dancing is done.
And they smile and nod wisely for they understand
That the dancing is done for the land.
For they've read all about it in magical texts,
Of fertility rites danced in six person sets.
And they say they're sincere but there's hardly a chance
That they'll get up and join in the dance.
But I dance for the fields, I dance for the land,
With my bells and my ribbons and my hankies in hand.
Each time that I caper, the higher I leap,
That much more grow the barley and wheat,
From the magic I dance with my feet.
The dancers today are not of the same stock
And the crops and the fields have long been forgot;
For the magic is far less important today
Than which way to go in a hey.
At the ales where they gather the dancers do roam
Through parking lots, malls and retirement homes;
And the one thing that's foremost in all of their minds
Is the contra dance later that night.
The crops of today are all grown by machines,
And there's no place for magic in today's planting schemes.
More important is yield per acre of land,
And their parents and children be damned.
And they've all got their bottles that they highly rate
Of fertility magic trichlorosulfate.
Yet all of their chemistry still can't explain
Why the fields where we dance are so green.
Now I live in a city and I dance in the streets
Where there's no growing thing within five hundred feet.
And the crowd asks us ``Hey, what are you s'posed to be?''
Or they shout things I will not repeat.
And we write city hall for permission to dance,
And we drive ninety minutes for a half-hour stand.
But the magic begins when we form up the set,
And it still works despite the cement.
Alternate chorus, sung after the last verse:
For I think of the fields, I think of the land
Each time I wear bells and take hankies in hand.
And I know when I caper, the higher I leap,
Somewhere tall grow the barley and wheat,
For the magic still works from the streets.
After alternate chorus, end with normal chorus.
Copyright © 1992, 1994 by Jeff Bigler. Permission is hereby granted to copy and/or distribute this music or lyrics by any means for any non-commercial purpose, provided that this copyright notice is included. Permission is also granted to perform this piece before an audience of five hundred (500) or fewer people. Any other use, including but not limited to publication for profit, performance before an audience of more than five hundred (500) people, or recording, requires the author's expressed consent.
If you want a hardcopy, I recommend downloading the Postscript version (generated by MusicTeX).
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Last modified: 1996/12/26 12:34:50 by