song & dance c K Hannan 2015
words excerpted from writings of George Fox
(a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers)
Thou must die in the silence and come to feel
That which brings thee to wait upon God
That which brings thee to feel the power of an endless life
Then the Inner Light led me along
And let me see that Love which is endless endless
Love which is endless endless
Love which is endless endless Love
*Note: After singing this with some Quaker women, and taking their advice, we now sing the song with the words "and the inner light led me along" rather than "the Lord gently led me along." My understanding is that for George Fox the leading of the Inner Light and the leading of the Lord were the same thing. And we enjoy singing the genderless Inner Light and feel it is more up to date for the 21st century. This recording, from the first day the song has George Fox's words in this quote, "the Lord gently led me along."
In religious traditions, when people pray to God, they are turning towards something which is not a thing, someone who is not a someone, an awareness that is intelligent, omnipresent, and very quiet. We could say that prayer is allowing our thoughts to slow down as we turn towards the silent aware creative presence that is always with us.
George Fox, one of the founders of the Religious Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers) said it this way: "Thou must die in the silence."
What dies when we turn to the silence is thought, including thoughts of who we think ourselves to be, thoughts of who we think we were, or think we will be. When we drop those thoughts which define us as a separate individual in a body, even if just for a brief silent moment, we contact who we truly are, call it God, Consciousness, Spirit, Love, True Nature. And when we go deeply enough into that contact we can recognize that the Spirit which we are is eternal. In George Fox's words, "And the Lord gently led me along, and let me see that Love which is endless." When I read those words, I wanted to sing them, and dance them. And so a song and a dance were born. I've attached the sheet music with dance instructions down below the lyrics.
Later on, singing it with folks in Bodies, Voices & Spirit Chorus, several of whom are Quakers, we landed on using the gender neutral words "Inward Light", which George Fox often used to describe the guidance which arises when we listen to the silence in us. Since then we changed to singing it Inner Light. The sheet music and chord chart below have the earlier words. Please sing it whichever way feels best for you!
Sheet Music in key of G w/ Dance Instructions
Chord Chart in key of C to capo up as needed