TCS: Tis the Gift to Be Simple

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


Hands to Work, Hearts to God

– Shaker philosophy


“Simple Gifts” is a Shaker song written and composed by Elder Joseph Brackett (1797-1882). He was a lifelong resident of Maine, who joined the Shakers in 1819, and rose to be the head of the society in Maine. The Shaker church was founded by Mother Ann Lee, an Englishwoman who came with a few followers to America in 1774, because of religious persecution in Britain.

The song was little known outside the Shaker communities until American composer Aaron Copland used the melody in his 1944 ballet, Appalachian Spring, which won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music. It has since enjoyed great popularity, and has been adapted and performed in many versions. The tune was used by Sydney Carter in 1963 with his lyrics for “Lord of the Dance.”

It is perhaps the best-known legacy of the Shakers, who are also remembered for their superb craftsmanship in buildings, furniture and handicrafts.


The Shaker Heights High School A Cappella Choirs perform The Shaker Song ‘Simple Gifts’ arranged by Aaron Copland and Bob Chilcottat. The Shaker Heights Centennial Celebration Concert at Shaker Heights High School.  Jesse Kapel on the piano, and conducted by Robert Schneider




Concord Singers – Robert Long, Director


Wednesday, January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day
in the United States. In honor of the day, I will be posting
the story of Mother Ann Lee and the Shakers in America.


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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