|Short Name:||Sydney Carter|
|Full Name:||Carter, Sydney Bertram, 1915-2004|
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" (1967), 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" (sometimes called "The Bells of Norwich"), based on words of Julian of Norwich, "One More Step Along the World I Go", "When I Needed a Neighbour", "Friday Morning", "Every Star Shall Sing a Carol", "The Youth of the Heart" and "Down Below".
Carter studied at Montem Street Primary School in Finsbury Park, Christ's Hospital school in Horsham, West Sussex and Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in history in 1936. A committed pacifist, he registered as a conscientious objector in World War II and joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit, serving in Egypt, Palestine and Greece.
Carter 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. "Last Cigarette", a song from the album about failing to give up smoking became a minor hit.
In 1964 he married his second wife Leela Nair, with whom he had a son Michael, now a neurosurgeon. He continued to work with Donald Swann, writing six songs for the 1964 Donald Swann EP, Songs of Faith and Doubt. In the 1960s he also worked as a critic for Gramophone magazine. In 1965 Carter wrote the six-song EP album "Lord Of The Dance" with Martin Carthy on guitar, the Johnny Scott Trio and the Mike Sammes singers. He also worked with Nadia Cattouse and Jeremy Taylor. In 1972 Carter presented a series of concerts in Australia. Franciscus Henri who accompanied him recorded an anthology of Carter's songs and poems (Nothing Fixed or Final) in 2005.
Carter went to Perth, Western Australia, in 1985 to present a series of lectures and workshops. During his visit he attended a Quaker meeting, at which a woman stood up and sang "When I Needed a Neighbour, Were You There?" She was unaware that Sydney was present; he was deeply touched and greatly delighted.
After retirement Sydney lived in Herne Hill, London, where he died, and was cremated at nearby West Norwood Cemetery. Sydney Carter spoke regularly with Lesslie Newbigin when the latter preached at his parish church, St Paul's Church, Herne Hill.
|Texts by Sydney Carter (11)||As||Instances|
|Bitter was the night||Sydney Carter (Author)||3|
|Catch the Bird of heaven||Sydney Carter (Author)||2|
|Chante étoile de Noël||Sydney Carter (1915- ) (Author)||2|
|Every star shall sing a carol||Sydney Carter (Author)||6|
|I danced in the morning when the world was begun||Sydney Carter (Author)||15|
|No use knocking on the window||Sydney Carter (Author)||2|
|One more step along the world I go||Sydney Bertram Carter (1915-2004) (Author)||3|
|Said Judas to Mary now what will you do||Sydney Carter (Author)||4|
|Since thy Father's arm sustains thee||S. D. Carter (Author)||1|
|Travel on, travel on, there's a spirit that is flowing||Sydney Carter (Author)||3|
|When I needed a neighbor, were you there||Sydney Carter (Author)||6|