The familiar tune, Kingsfold, likely dates back to the Middle Ages and was used with various Irish and English texts through the years. British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams first heard the tune in Kingsfold, Sussex, England (thus its name) and debuted it as a hymn tune in The English Hymnal (1906) paired with Horatius Bonar’s text I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say. But American attorney-turned-Presbyterian-pastor, Louis Benson gave Kingsfold the most common text that we sing today, the Christmas hymn O Sing a Song of Bethlehem.
Found in only a handful of hymnals, though, is Kingsfold’s often overlooked text: Come Join the Dance of Trinity. The text, perfect for Trinity Sunday, was penned by American pastor Richard Leach (b. 1953) and is still under copyright so I can’t share it all here. Leach cleverly weaves together the Trinity with the creation of the world, the newborn Christ in Bethlehem, the crucifixion, and the Holy Spirit’s arrival at Pentecost, effectively summing up the entire Bible in four short verses with room for praising God to boot. How cool is that?
Although Come, Join the Dance of Trinity is not very popular, it’s the text I learned when I was first introduced to Kingsfold. With words that dance right off the page, I couldn’t help but create a piano arrangement that danced as well. The middle section trades the melody between the left and right hands which, for my right-handed brain, was a bit tricky to write even though it’s easy to play. Writing it made me wish I was a bit more flexible – both on the keyboard and the dance floor. Enjoy!