Simple Gifts – Learning Tracks

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An arrangement of the Shaker song Simple Gifts by Joseph Brackett Jr. The song was originally written in 1848 but wasn’t much known outside the Shaker community until the mid 1940s when Aaron Copland used the tune in one of his ballet scores. In 1963 Sydney Carter published Lord of the Dance, his version of this song.

Hearing this song (with either the original Simple Gifts lyrics or the Lord of the Dance lyrics) always makes me smile. It feels like such an uplifting and joyful tune. In this arrangement I wanted to create a feel of starting from a thoughtful, meditative place building to a joyful, dancelike ending.

The solo at the beginning can be taken by any voice part, or even a small group.

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