Tuesday Tunes: In the Valley

“Simple Gifts”

written by Elder Joseph


‘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 gained,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.


Originally, a Shaker hymn, this music was mostly unknown outside Shaker communities until Aaron Copland composed its melody for the score of Martha Graham’s ballet, “Appalachian Spring” which premiered in 1944.  Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement; however, when he began his award winning ballet score in 1942, he couldn’t have foreseen that it would become one of the most inspiring and symbolic works of the century.









  1. I’m so glad I don’t have to pick a favorite from your photos. They are fantastic. Appalachian Spring is one of my favorite compositions. When I read the words of Simple Gifts, I could hear the music playing in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always beautiful pictures, always. I most enjoyed the tune today though. I needed that reminder of gratitude ❤ Perfect selection for me today. I know this piece very well, though not as well as my husband who has played it and conducted it through all the crescendos! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I once wrote a post with the background to, “Simple Gifts” and it was so interesting to find out the details, Tonya. . .
    I love how your post has lots of photos of beauty, love and nature which demonstrates the meaning of the song! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

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