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.              

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