Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thursday Lyrics (Thanksgiving Edition): Simple Gifts

I already used Thanksgiving Eve last year. So I picked what may well be my single favorite Christian hymn. I don't have a lot of those.

I imagine that I am not the only person who knows only the first verse and refrain. I learned this from the singing of Judy Collins; I've been blessed to know Quakers since who consider this one of their songs as well. This song also makes me think of Sufi dancers....

Simple Gifts
Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr., 1848

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will 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,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right
'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,
'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

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