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"I Want To Be Like The Lily"

In Memory of Eldress Bertha Lindsay


Eldress Bertha Lindsay
Canterbury, New Hampshire, 1972

by Gail Hall, photographer


On a cold wintery day in 1972, my wife and I drove to Canterbury Shaker Village for the interview. I had brought along a Nagra tape recorder which Prof. Chianis had loaned to me for recording our interview. Unfortunately I forgot to bring along the headphones so I had to estimate the volume level for the recording. The interview itself went well.

After the interview was finished on the first day, Eldress Bertha suggested I come back the next day and she would sing some Shaker hymns and songs for me. I was excited to have this offer and readily agreed.

Some of this music was included in Roger Hall's Master's thesis titled:

The Shaker Letteral System:
A Practical Approach to Music Notation

Also included with the thesis was a tape with some of the examples he had collected of singing by the Canterbury and Sabbathday Lake Shakers.

I had finished my first substantial work on Shaker music.

That was just the beginning of what was to be my long Shaker journey... that has lasted thirty-five years.

--excerpts from "Meeting the Shakers" in "Dream World": Songs, Poems and Stories by Roger Lee Hall (PineTree Press).


Excerpts of the interviews with Eldress Bertha Lindsay are included on these CDs:



Blended Together: Interviews with The Shakers


Gentle Words - A Shaker Music Sampler






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