Hymn #501: We Are Dancing Sarah's Circle

Carole Etzler Eagleheart (b. 1944) was inspired by feminist theologian Nelle Morton to create this alternate text to "Jacob's Ladder," using the story of Sarah, found in Genesis 17 and 18.  The circle dance is an ancient traditional dance, involving an entire community.

Carole A. Etzler Eagleheart works as a performing artist, writer, and composer.  A member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, she attends Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Middlebury, Vermont, and expresses her faith through her use of music.

This anonymous African American tune is called JACOB'S LADDER, after the other text with which it is associated.  The tune moves up and down the scale, much as Jacob moved up and down the ladder in his vision, found in Genesis 28.

A frequent topic of dabate concerning African American music is whether it was imported from the African continent, is a unique new form of music that originated in the Americas, or represents a blend of the two.  Most authorities accept the last possibility as the best answer.