I don't know when I first heard "The Lord of the Dance" but it wasn't until I taped and transcribed it from Wally Whyton's Folk Music programme in July 1983 after hearing the McAlmans singing it that I really got interested.
Presently (1999) it has taken on a new significance as this song is the theme of show of the same title which is all the rage amongst my young German friends. Some us saw the show of the same name given by Riverdance in the Bremen Stadthalle in October 1998 and were greatly impressed. By the way, "The Lord of the Dance" is a great melody for the penny-whistle.
Even more recently (October, 2001) I learned that it had been written by Sydney Carter in 1963 having found it in his Songs of Sydney Carter, In the present tense Book 2
. During the 1960's it was recorded by Martin Carthy, Donald Swann, Sydney Carter, The Corries, Ian Campbell Folk Group, Jackie and Bridie as well as Peter Smith and the Kinfolk. It seems that I am in very good company indeed!