Dancing the Macabray

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Posted by Vale


In Neil Gaiman’s great children’s book ‘The Graveyard Book,’ Bod, a little boy growing up amongst the dead, dances the ‘Macabray’.

It is Gaiman’s own version of the Danse Macabre where, in this instance, the dead and the living dance together. In the audiobook version every chapter is introduced by this lovely version of the Danse Macabre for banjo and clarinet:

 Rich man, poor man, come away.
Come to dance the Macabray.

Time to work and time to play,
Time to dance the Macabray.

One and all will hears and stay
Come and dance the Macabray.

One to leave and one to stay,
And all to dance the Macabray.

Step and turn, and walk and stay,
Now we dance the Macabray.

Now the Lady on the Grey
Leads us in the Macabray… 

The book can be found here. The audiobook here.



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Belinda Forbes
10 years ago

Vale – in all the ‘excitement’, I forgot to comment on this. I enjoyed Gaiman’s book and this version of Danse Macabre IS lovely! Thank you!