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Simple Gifts On Galveston Island

(Blogger’s Note–This is a post from just over two years ago. This post took about 15 efforts to get right on a day that was hot as hell. So I’m certain it merits a second posting. )

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.

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 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 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Gifts Performed At Arizona Shooting Memorial Service

(Blogger’s Note 1/13/11—Simple Gifts was sung at the end of the memorial to the Tuscon, Arizona shooting victims. This is a meaningful song with lyrics all should hear. I’m reposting my entry about Simple Gifts that I first posted in 2009.)

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.

January 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singing Simple Gifts At Cincinnati’s Eden Park Overlook

Here is a video of me singing the 1848 Shaker hymn Simple Gifts at the Eden Park Overlook in Cincinnati. The video runs 30 seconds.

Here is a link to more information about this classic American song. At this link I recite all the lyrics to Simple Gifts while a ship passes behind me on Galveston Island, Texas.    

It is a gift to be simple.

It is a gift to be free. 

To bow and to bend I won’t be ashamed.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

“To Bow And To Bend I Won’t Be Ashamed” Is New Personal Motto—Singing Simple Gifts In Downtown Houston

Above is a video of me in Downtown Houston singing a portion of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts. The video is 33 seconds long.

Simple Gifts was written in 1848. Please click here for a video where I recite all the lyrics to Simple Gifts while on Galveston Island. You’ll also find information about the song at the link.

I’ve adopted some words from this song as my new personal motto.

My new personal motto is–“To bow and to bend I won’t be ashamed.”

I’m going to try to live by these words to the extent I’m able.

If I can live by these words, and if I can create things of value with the talents I have in life, then I’ll merit the regard of my friends and the regard of people I meet as I proceed in the world.

It is all a work in progress.

July 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Copland’s Appalachian Spring Should Be New National Anthem

  

I’ve recently been listening to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

(Here is another link to Aaron Copland.)

( Above is a picture from near Bristol, Tennessee.)

I think this American classic, which lasts around 25 minutes, should be the new national anthem.

(Click here to listen to a program about Appalachian Spring.)

For one thing, unlike our present national anthem, the song has no mention of war.

For another thing , if we were all to silently reflect and consider our nation and our lives for 25 minutes each time we listened to our new national anthem, maybe we would be a better country.

Though I admit, it would be an act of discipline for some not to focus on their anger and disappointments for those 25 minutes.

Still, I think we could all use some more time to think things out.

In Appalachian Spring, Copland “samples”, to use a more modern word, a portion of the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” ( Here is a history of Shaker music.  Here is a history of who the Shakers are.)

Here are the lyrics to Simple Gifts—

‘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,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

I think these would be excellent lyrics for our national anthem.

Here is a link to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Here is a link to the Urban Appalachian Council of Greater Cincinnati.

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments