Mark Twain never said nothing ’bout dancing

Or maybe he did, but he didn’t say what Brené Brown on Facebook thinks he did.

She was talking about this very cute YouTube:

(Isn’t it just a little more than sad that so many people stood around taping it, rather than join in? Sigh…)

Ironically, then, Brené Brown quotes dear Twain as having said this–

Dance like no one is watching,
Live like you’ll never be hurt
Sing like no one is listening
Live like it’s heaven on earth.

Now I’m no expert, even after my extensive research in August, but it just didn’t sound right to me. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it’s not clear where the quote is from. Well, it’s actually pretty clear that it came from the song “Come From the Heart” by Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh. Their words went like this, however, according to the site Quote Investigator:

(This post goes through the different variations, so you can look there for more information, if you’d like.)

You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ll never get hurt
You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work.

What do you think? Isn’t this so much more meaningful? But maybe that’s the adult version–children can dance like it’s just them and not work.

Maybe the first really is more fitting for the video.

But as I am [supposed to be] an adult…

Here’s what Dr. Sue Johnson says about how we have to work at our relationships to keep them real in an amazing post entitled Is Marriage All About The Skill Set?:

Maybe empathy and openness -feelings of love can be caught but not taught. If we understand love and how vulnerable our lover is to our signals – we can change their heart beat, hormone release and immune functioning in a moment – we are MOVED naturally to feel for them and respond lovingly. We can help lovers change the emotional music of their dance and prime natural feelings of love and compassion.

The truth is, the new science of love tells us that we can have more control over our love relationships – but learning set skills isn’t the way to do it. We have to learn, in real interactions, how to send the heart messages that touch our loved one and move them to care.

And then dance away.

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3 thoughts on “Mark Twain never said nothing ’bout dancing

  1. I think you are absolutely right about the wrong attribution of this quote to Twain. I’ve also seen this particular quote attributed to other people. I love the little girl dance video and I love this song! And I’m with you: …dance away! Have a happy day! ~ Jeannie :))

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