Dance on the Earth

Photo by Jack Leishman
Photo by Jack Leishman

At the time I first started writing chants, I was newly and deeply interested in Tibet and the plight of the Tibetan people. I wrote several songs then about Tibet, surrounding myself with many beautiful Tibetan thangkas (paintings) and statues that touched my heart. One particular ancient carving that inspired me was a brown jade dakini with a stocky, solid body, standing on one foot firmly rooted on the ground. She seemed to me to be the embodiment of Mother Earth. She had a look of both serenity and endurance. I imagined I could see the spirit of the Tibetans in her, carrying on despite all their trials.

I was going through a time in my life where I was simply enduring, and needing an infusion of strength to carry on. And a short time later, after the events of 9-11, I was aware of the same need in so many of us.

I wrote this chant in a 100 year-old farmhouse in Virginia, with the brown dakini propped up on a shelf in front of my keyboard. I imagined that I gave her voice and that my words were ones she would sing. I always feel power and a new resolve whenever I sing this chant.

When I found out that Techung La would be playing his wonderful Tibetan instruments and singing on this chant, I was so excited, I could hardly stand it! How awesome that he chose to play on this particular one, without even knowing its origin...

Dance on the Earth

(For the courage to carry on through life’s challenges)

I dance on the Earth
I sing my song
I have the courage to carry on
I dance on the Earth
I sing my song
I have the courage to carry on
Dance through me, oh Mother, oh dance through me
Dance, dance, dance
Sing through me, oh Mother, oh sing through me
Sing, sing, sing
I carry on, I carry on


Lyrics and Music by Diane Bardwell

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