Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's a gift to be simple

Here is a litte picture movie of the Shaker hymn, "The Gift to be Simple."

video

It's a gift to be simple; it's a gift to be kind.
It's a gift to smile and to share a happy mind.
It's a gift from the Father when we go on our way
With a joyful song at the start of the day.

But the gift to be simple and the gift to be kind
Are the gifts which only a very few will find.
Yet these gifts from the Father can be found every day
If we look to him and his will we obey.

Love! Love! It's a gift to be kind.
It's a gift when we smile, when we share a happy mind.
Love! Love! We go on our way
With a joyful song at the start of the day.

It's a gift to be simple; it's a gift to be kind.
(Love! Love! It's a gift to be kind)
It's a gift when we smile, when we share a happy mind.
It's a gift from the Father when we go on our way
(Love! Love! We go on our way)
With a joyful song at the start of the day.

Love! Love! It's a gift to be kind.
It's a gift when we smile, when we share a happy mind.
Love! Love! We go on our way
With a joyful song at the close of the day.

(Sung by the Calvin College Alumni Choir, 1995)

8 comments:

Donna Boucher said...

Hi Janette,

This may seem strange but your name seems familiar to me.

Do you know my daughter Emma took an English class from The Potter's School.

Her teacher had your name.

Could it be you?

Janette Kok said...

That could totally be me if it was 2003-04 or 2004-05. I taught grade 9 English both years and a research paper writing class the first year. I really loved teaching, but I struggled terribly with keeping up with grading, so I look back on the experience with mixed feelings. I hope whichever class Emma took was a good experience for her, and useful.

Donna Boucher said...

It was a good experience, Janette!
She would have been in your grade 9
English class!

It was important for me to have someone beside me grade her papers because my criticisms seemed to hurt her feelings.

She did well on the writing portion on the ACT and has done well in her college writing courses also.

So I am very thankful for that.

And I am thankful for your service
as a teacher!! You helped us both!

Janette Kok said...

Thanks, Donna. I'm glad it's going well for Emma.

LunarSongbird said...

Jan, I very much enjoyed your movie of "Tis a Gift to be Simple". Years ago a car company played this tune while showing pictures of a fancy car whizzing around curves. Your pictures are so much more appropos!

love, Mavis

Janette Kok said...

Thanks, Mave. I knew you liked this song. Whenever you post at my blog, I click to your blog and see if you've updated. Maybe whe your new book club starts, you can blog about your discussions. LysJK

Nate+Ann said...

Hi Janette,
I am so happy to see your song and video, and would like to ask you for more information about this version of this song.

This is the version I learned growing up, and would like to include it in my wedding this April.

Do you know the author? I would like to give credit to this person if possible.

Kind thanks, Ann

Janette Kok said...

I did a little research on the web, because the CD just said "arr. Dale Wood," and I think that Dale Wood arranged this setting of a traditional Shaker hymn and that he wrote the words shown in my post. He apparently was a 20th century hymnist. The original hymn, "Simple Gifts," was written in 1848 by a member of the Shaker community named Joseph Bracket. That version has diffent words and the melody is slightly different. You can find an article about it on wikipedia. In 1963, another songwriter, Sydney Carter, adapted the tune for his song, "Lord of the Dance." So now you know as much as I know. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and my you and your husband enjoy the gifts of simplicity and kindness.