Simple Gifts

Words & Music:

Traditional Shaker


The Shakers are a New England sect founded in the mid-1800s and named for the way they shook as they raised power by singing & dancing.  There are a handful of Shakers left in either Poland Spring, Maine or Canterbury, New Hampshire.  In addition to writing wonderful songs (always sung a capella), they invented elegant farm & household implements and a style of furniture& architecture known for its clean, simple lines.  This is their most famous song and was used as the tune for the later song, "Lord Of The Dance".



'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free,

       G                 A7

'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be.


And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

       G                               D

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.


When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we will not be ashamed.

To turn, to turn, will be our delight,

'Til by turning, turning, we come round right.



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