Simple Gifts
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John Renfro Davis


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Simple Gifts was written by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848. It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs.

Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers), whose last community in America (Hancock Village) died in 1960. It is now a museum.

'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,
It will 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, turn, will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning, we come round right.
Related Links
Lyrics from The Mudcat Cafe.