London: Christian Community Press, . First edition. Octavo, original side-stitched blue cloth, original dust jacket. Cloth bright and clean, early presentation inscription, gentle spine toning and minor blemishes to unclipped original dust jacket. Very good indeed. Item #932
"THE PEOPLE SAY THAT THE SUN DANCES ON THIS DAY IN JOY FOR A RISEN SAVIOUR" First edition of this selection of prayers and blessings capturing the traditional folk spirituality of the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland. A traveling government official in 19th century Scotland, Alexander Carmichael's main interest "was in the recording of Gaelic poetry and customs, for which he had the most intimate understanding. He wrote down what was recited to him by 'men and women throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, from Arran to Caithness, from Perth to St. Kilda." Translated from the original Gaelic, this volume is distilled from the first three volumes of Carmichael's Carmina Gaedelic. First published in 1900, the collection grew to six volumes by mid-century. This Christian Community Press edition presents, for the first time in a single volume, 64 poems arranged in nine short sections: Morning and Evening, Ages of Life, Work, The House, Wonders of the World, Omens and Sorrows, Solitary Prayer, The Feasts of the Year, Columba and Bride, Conclusion. This edition is edited by John Carmichael and illustrated with striking half title illustrations (by a "Mrs. Carmichael"). With Adam Bittleston's valuable Introduction (dated, "Edinburgh / Good Friday 1960"), which concludes: "On the whole, it will be less important to know about points of detail in the poems, than to feel and to understand the kind of consciousness out of which they were born." The Feasts of the Year includes 'Easter Sunday,' when "the people say that the sun dances on this day in joy for a risen Saviour." This copy with a warm gift inscription, "Happy Memories of Edinburgh / December 1963"). Folded and laid-in is a Christian Community Press order form for the Sun Dances along with the Christian Community Press Book List for 1960.