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Song - Simple Gifts
Song - Simple Gifts (Tis a Gift to be Simple) : a Traditional Shaker Song & Variations
"Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in
These are the lyrics to his one-verse song, (with simple ukulele chords at the beginning of each line):
F: 'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
C: 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
F: And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
C: 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
F: When true simplicity is gained,
C: To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed,
F: To turn, turn will be our delight,
C: Till by turning, turning we come round right.
Several Shaker manuscripts indicate that this is a "Dancing Song" or a "Quick Dance."
"Turning" is a common theme in Religion, but the references to "turning" in the last two lines
have also been identified as dance instructions.
The tune was written by
(1797–1882) who first joined the Shakers at
when his father's farm helped to form the nucleus of a new Shaker settlement.
A manuscript of Mary Hazzard of the
New Lebanon, New York
, Shaker community records this original version of the melody:
1. Song by Jewel
2. A Ukulele version
3. Handmade Harp version
Have a Happy Holiday Season with your family and friends and music...
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