Written by Laurie Niles
Published: November 27, 2014 at 5:47 AM [UTC]
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, and I'd like to thank everyone for the gift of your music, your ideas and your enthusiasm for the violin and its related instruments.
Below is a lovely version of one of my favorite American songs, "Simple Gifts." It's a Shaker Song, and the words are as beautiful as the music:
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right
The Luna Nova Quartet performs in the video below -- I love the mandolin in this version. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ben Brussell, Mandolin
Candance Sanderson, Violin
Linda Green, Viola
Alex Kelly, Cello
Recorded March 15, 2010
Music at Meyer Concert Series, San Francisco
Nice arrangement and well played. I found the quaint melody gains much by the addition of those charming words in song, and a beautiful version by Jewell (yes, including a violin) is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amcGIfMu0bw . Only found this now when prompted by your posting, so thanks - hadn't heard this song before.
Hope you're not planning to become a Shaker? It wouldn't be fair on Robert or the rest of the family.
I thought this would be a Shaker tune I hadn't heard before, but I first heard it in the late '60s in a modified version as Sydney Carter's "Hymn", "Lord of the Dance", and then later, as more like the original melody, in Copland's "Appalachian Spring". So I still only know one Shaker tune. However, before today I had no idea that the original lyrics did not have anything to do with "Lord of the Dance"; so thank you very much for that enlightenment.
Not likely I will become a Shaker! But I'll certainly borrow the song. ;)