"The Humble Heart"
In Memory of Randy Folger (1952-1999)
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Randy's tragic death in an auto accident on July 1, 1999. He was the popular music interpreter for many years at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. One of the most enthusiastic supporters of Shaker music, over the years Randy delighted thousands of visitors at Pleasant Hill. I enjoyed singing with Randy on several occasions at Pleasant Hill and elsewhere.
In March of this same year, I joined with Randy, Mitzie Collins and Colleen Liggett for a Shaker music concert at the National Arts Club in New York City. It was a very enjoyable experience for all of us.
Randy may be heard as a featured soloist on the Sampler CD,
Joy of Angels , and also his own CD titled, Gentle Words.
Just before his untimely death, he helped to produce a CD,
Music of the Angels. It was recorded in the meeting house at Pleasant Hill.
One of Randy's favorite Shaker hymns was "The Humble Heart."
Here is the third verse of this hymn that seems to sum up Randy's outlook on life:
Tall cedars fall before the wind
The tempest breaks the oak.
While slender vines will bow and bend
And rise beneath the stroke.
I've chosen me one pleasant grove
And set my lovely vine.
Here in my vineyard I will rove
The humble heart is mine.
Randy, you have chosen your "pleasant grove" and set your "lovely vine."
Now you can sing..
"the humble heart is mine"
Randy, may you be forever with the Heavenly Angels.
---Roger Lee Hall, 1999
"The Humble Heart" is one of the most beautiful Shaker hymns. It has a poem written by Sister Eunice Wyeth (1756-1830) and a tune by Elder Thomas Hammond (1791-1880), both from the Shaker community in Harvard, Massachusetts. I arranged this Shaker hymn for solo voice and piano, or three part chorus (SAB) in the Music Supplement of
A GUIDE TO SHAKER MUSIC.
My arrangement is dedicated in memory of my dear departed friend, Randy Folger. It has been recorded on these CDs:
Gentle Words - A Shaker Music Sampler
The Humble Heart - 24 Shaker Spirituals
Return to top of the page