Simple Gifts

At last week’s Eikaiwa (English conversation) class a fellow ALT taught the group this song. I had never heard it before, but found it to be a beautiful statement on simple living. It reminds me of something that would be sung in Decorah, IA.

‘Tis the gift to be simple                                                                                                                ‘Tis the gift to be free                                                                                                                    ‘Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be                                                                    And when we find ourselves in the place just right                                                                ‘Twill be in the garden 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                                                                                                  Til be turning, turning, we come round right

‘Tis a gift to be simple                                                                                                                    ‘Tis a gift to be fair                                                                                                                          ‘Tis a gift to wake and breathe the morning air                                                                        And each day we walk on the path that we choose                                                                      ‘Tis a gift we prat we never shall lose

Simple Gifts is a traditional Shaker song written by Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. Unfortunately, due to their strict vow to celibacy, there are only three Shakers left today…

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