Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Speaking The Words To Simple Gifts As Ship Passes Behind Me

Above is a video of me speaking the words of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts while standing on the eastern end of Galveston Island.

The video runs just over 90 seconds.

Behind me as I speak is a ship in Galveston Bay that is sailing out towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Simple Gifts is one of my favorite songs in the world.

If you click this link, you’ll see the lyrics and the song will play.

The song was written by Joseph Brackett. Here are some very basic facts about Joseph Brackett.

Here is some information about Shaker music.

Here is some history of the Shakers.

From that history—

One of the numerous religious sects who emigrated to American shores in search of religious freedom, the Shakers followed Mother Ann Lee to the United States in 1774. Here they established several colonies– the first in 1776 at Nikayuna near Albany, NY–whose governing principles included celibacy and agrarian communal living.

Here are some things you could see if you visited Galveston, Texas.

Here are some facts about Galveston Bay.

Here is the link to the Galveston Bay Foundation.

Here is a link where you can track the location of ships around the world.

Here is some history of ships and boats.

The part of Simple Gifts I like best is where it says that to bow and to bend we should not be ashamed. I would like to live my life by that principle, but so far I have lacked the discipline to do so.

July 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. Neil, thanks for sharing this. It’s a lovely hymn and it brought back happy memories of visiting the Shaker village in Harrodsburg, KY. I hope you and Laura are well and I hope you have a great sunscreen. That Texas sun looks extra hot.

    Comment by Michele | July 15, 2009

  2. Michele–Thanks for the kind comment. I was all sun-screened up.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 15, 2009

  3. Neil, there are some things in life that will always move me in the deepest way. This hymn is one of them. It reminds me so much of my mother and of my warm and loving childhood with her. I remember feeling so happy when we would get to sing this in church. Without thinking about it too much I don’t know why it moves me so. But I’m glad that you appreciate this simple and profound verse enough to share it on your blog.
    peace brother.

    Comment by Shannon | July 15, 2009

  4. Dear Neil:

    Thank you for the singing of the Shaker Hymn. We await a national policy to have us turn right. Going forward will not be in the middle. The true path is to follow the facts.


    Comment by Tyrone K Yates | July 15, 2009

  5. Shannon, Tyrone–Thanks for these kind comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 20, 2009

  6. Nice reading. Enjoyable to watch the ship in the background as well. And, fortunately, none of the gulls let go on your pate.

    Comment by Newton | July 20, 2009

  7. Just found your blog and it is wonderful. Your attitude toward people, your definition of liberalism and the recitation of this hymn made much lighter this dreary day.

    Comment by Marguerite Chipp Matthews | January 3, 2013

  8. That is very kind of you to say. Please visit the blog again and have a great 2013.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 3, 2013

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