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More informationLibriVox volunteers bring you 14 recordings of Simple Gifts by Anonymous. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 17th, 2010.
Several Shaker manuscripts indicate that this is a "Dancing Song" or a "Quick Dance." The references to "turning" in the last two lines have been identified as dance instructions. The melody was used by Aaron Copeland as the basis for Appalachian Spring. (summary by Wikipedia and David Lawrence)