Friday, 3 April 2009

"Tomorrow Shall Be My Darning Day"

That was what I said to Bob last night - and among other tasks today I have actually mended 2 T-shirts, 3 jumpers, and 2 shirts [for Bob, myself and a friend] Having also dealt with The Great Ironing Mountain, I then enjoyed myself doing IM003343 some cross stitch.

This weekend, my good friends Ron and Jenny celebrate 40 years of marriage, so I have made a Ruby Wedding Card for them. The design is adapted from the late Jo Verso's book "Cross Stitch Cards and Keepsakes" and I have embellished it with sequins and seed beads.

Having made the pun about Darning Day, I realised I knew nothing about the original carol "Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day" - so I looked it up.

verso cards keepsakes



It has quite a long history, first being published in 1833, although it is believed to be medieval in origin.





Here are the choristers of Wells Cathedral performing. What fascinated me is how many of the ideas in the verses seem to have been borrowed by Sydney Carter for "Lord of the Dance" [written 1963] which is probably much better known.

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love
This have I done for my true love.
                                                                                      Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man's nature
To call my true love to my dance.

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.

Then afterwards baptized I was;
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,                                   
My Father’s voice heard I from above,
To call my true love to my dance.

Into the desert I was led,
Where I fasted without substance;
The Devil bade me make stones my bread,
To have me break my true love's dance.

The Jews on me they made great suit,
And with me made great variance,
Because they loved darkness rather than light,
To call my true love to my dance.

For thirty pence Judas me sold,
His covetousness for to advance:
Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold!
The same is he shall lead the dance.

Before Pilate the Jews me brought,
Where Barabbas had deliverance;
They scourged me and set me at nought,
Judged me to die to lead the dance.

Then on the cross hanged I was,
Where a spear my heart did glance;
There issued forth both water and blood,
To call my true love to my dance.

Then down to hell I took my way
For my true love's deliverance,
And rose again on the third day,
Up to my true love and the dance.

Then up to heaven I did ascend,
Where now I dwell in sure substance
On the right hand of God, that man
May come unto the general dance.

So the idea of dancing in carols is not new! But I think a dozen verses, with chorus, makes it a bit long for general use. And I do like the Shaker Tune adapted for the newer carol.

Bob is off out at the Blokes' Night Scalextric Tournament at the Church - so I am going to the home of another Deserted Wife and we shall enjoy a Chinese Takeaway together!


  1. Hello Angela
    The Great ironing Mountain common to us all – I’ve climbed it also today lol

    I've a Jo Versco book (Picture it in Cross Stitch), which is so useful. Often I make samplers for birthdays or special occasions and use it for ideas. So handy - it has lots of little things and people that can be adapted to whatever you need:)

    Hope you enjoyed your girlie night and the takeaway meal
    Take care

  2. I have a couple of Jo Verso's books and found them very useful for small projects.
    Oh, the ironing mountain.....just as you scale it, it gets higher!


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