Shaker Music Preservation Series

Music transcribed and edited by Roger Hall



In Memory of a Dear Friend
who with her husband, Paul,
published The Shaker Messenger magazine
for many years and was so appreciative of Shaker music,

Diana Van Kolken





The "Shaker Song Series" was published in each issue of THE SHAKER MESSENGER magazine between 1981 and 1996.

The term "Song" is meant in the broadest sense including any vocal music and thus includes both Shaker songs and hymns.

There were actually three main types of music composed by Shaker sisters and brethren: single verse songs (including dance songs), multi-verse hymns, and prose anthems. Together they are best classified as: Shaker spirituals.

Though there were many Shaker songs and hymns in the series, none of the longer anthems were included due to lack of space available in the magazine.

Some of hymns and songs in this series (Nos. 2-3, 9, 19, 37) were written in memory of their spiritual leader, Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784).

The 56 Shaker songs and hymns in the series were transcribed and edited for performance by Shaker music scholar and ethnomusicologist, Roger Lee Hall.

Each of the titles listed below has the Shaker community, year of composition (if known), and the Shaker sister or brother who composed it or collected it. Also, there are recordings listed with these CD abbreviations:


BT = Blended Together: Interviews with The Shakers

ESS = Early Shaker Spirituals - Sabbathday Lake Shakers

GW = Gentle Words - A Shaker Music Sampler - Various musicians

GWTC = Gentle Words - The Tudor Choir (arrangement by Kevin Siegfried)

JOA = Joy of Angels: Shaker Spirituals for Christmas and The New Year (Soloists and The Sampler Chorus)

LIL = Love is Little: A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals (Soloists and The Sampler Chorus)

LZM = Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers - Shaker singers from Canterbury, New Hampshire and Sabbathday Lake, Maine

MOA = Music of Angels: Songs of the Shaker West - Pleasant Hill Singers

SG = Simple Gifts - The Boston Camerata and Sabbathday Lake Shakers

TGH = The Golden Harvest - Boston Camerata & Sabbathday Lake Shakers

To find out how to purchase any of the titles, go here.



"Shaker Song Series"
in The Shaker Messenger magazine (1981-1996):

Click on the links with the title for more information.

No. 1 (1981): THE HUMBLE HEART - Shaker hymn from Harvard, Massachusetts - Words: Sister Eunice Wyeth/ Tune: Elder Thomas Hammond Jr. - arranged by Roger Hall [GW]

No. 2 (1982): ON THE BIRTHDAY OF MOTHER ANN - Shaker hymn from North Union, Ohio, 1850 - Words/Tune: Elder James Prescott

No. 3 (1982): MOTHER'S LOVE - Shaker song from New Lebanon, New York, 1839

Enfield, New Hampshire, 1869/ Sister Rosetta Cummings, compiler - arranged by Roger Hall [GW]

Canterbury, NH, 1862/ From singing of the Sabbathday Lake Shakers, 1976/ arranged by Roger Hall [GW]

No. 6 (1983): THE HAPPY JOURNEY - Harvard, MA, 1808/
Attributed to Brother Joshua Goodrich, Hancock, MA [LIL]

No. 7 (1983): THE MORNING SUN - South Union, Kentucky, 1847

No. 8 (1983): THE SHAKERS - Union Village, Ohio, ca. 1812
Words: Elder Richard McNemar/ From the singing of Sister R. Mildred Barker and Sister Frances Carr, 1980 [LIL]

No. 9 (1983): MOTHER -f.l.: "At Manchester in England this blessed fire began" - Union Village, Ohio, ca. 1812
Words: Elder Richard McNemar [LIL & SG]

No. 10 (1983): CHRISTMAS HYMN - North Union, Ohio 1869
Words/Tune: Sister Elmina Phillips [JOA]

No. 11 (1984): RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE - Union Village, Ohio, ca. 1810 Words/Tune: Elder Issachar Bates [GW and TGH]

No. 12 (1984): ODE TO CONTENTMENT - North Union, Ohio
Words: Elder Richard Pelham, 1835/Tune: Elder Issachar Bates, 1833 [GW and LIL]

No. 13 (1984): BLENDED TOGETHER - New Lebanon, NY, ca. 1870
Words/Tune: Elder Joseph Holden/ From the singing of Sister Mildred Barker and Sister Frances Carr, 1974 [BT]

No. 14 (1985): HEALING BALM - Enfield, NH, 1851

No. 15 (1985): INVITATION TO ZION - Watervliet, NH, 1843
Words/Tune: Brother David A. Buckingham

No. 16 (1985): FOLLOWERS OF THE LAMB - New Lebanon, NY, ca. 1847 Words/Tune: Sister Clarissa Jacobs [LIL]

No. 17 (1985): A NEW SONG - Alfred, Maine, ca. 1873

No. 18 (1985): LET ME HAVE MOTHER'S GOSPEL - Enfield, NH, ca. 1865 Words/Tune: Elder Abraham Perkins [ESS]

Watervleit, NY, 1840 - Words/Tune: Brother David A. Buckingham

No. 20 (1986): A PRAYER FOR THE CAPTIVE - New Lebanon, NY, 1862 Words/Tune: Sister Cecilia DeVere [GW]

No. 21 (1986): O GIVE ME A LITTLE LOVE - Sabbathday Lake, 1883 Words/Tune: Sister Sarah Fletcher/
In memory of Brother Theodore E. Johnson [ESS]

No. 22 (1986): LOVELY GOSPEL KINDRED - New Lebanon, NY, 1836 Words/Tune: Elder Issachar Bates

No. 23 (1987): ALMIGHTY SAVIOR - New Lebanon, NY, 1836
Words/Tune: Elder Issachar Bates [GWTC]

No. 24 (1987): ON ZION'S HOLY GROUND - Harvard, MA, ca. 1837
From the singing of Sister Ethel Peacock, 1963 [ESS]

No. 25 (1987): SONG TO NEW LEBANON - Harvard, MA, ca. 1852

No. 26 (1987): MAY I SOFTLY WALK - New Lebanon, NY, 1869 [LZM] - arranged by Roger Hall [GW]

No. 27 (1988): HEAVENLY MUSIC - North Union, Ohio, ca. 1853
Words/Tune: Brother Nelson Phillips [JOA]

New Lebanon, NY, 1846
Words/Tune: Brother John Robe

No. 29 (1988): O BLESSED BEAUTIFUL LAND - Sabbathday Lake, Maine, 1878

No. 30 (1988): JOIN TOGETHER HEART AND HAND - North Union, Ohio, 1853

No. 31 (1989): GENTLE WORDS - Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, ca. 1834 Words/Tune: Sister Polly M. Rupe [GW & GWTC]

No. 32 (1989): MORE LOVE - Canterbury, NH, ca. 1870 [LIL]

No. 33 (1989): ALL AT HOME - Canterbury, NH, ca. 1870 [LIL]

No. 34 (1989): I HUNGER AND THIRST - Alfred, Maine, 1837
From the singing of Sister Mildred Barker, 1976 [ESS]

No. 35 (1990): O GLORY TO GOD - Union Village, Ohio 1856

No. 36 (1990): HOW BEAUTIFUL DO THE HEAVENS RING - Hancock, MA, 1849 -For 200th anniversary of Hancock Shaker Village [LIL]

No. 37 (1991): MOTHER SAYS, O RISE BE GLAD - Canterbury, NH
From the singing of Eldress Bertha Lindsay, 1972 [BT]

No. 38 (1991): GOOD BELIEVER'S LIFE - Harvard, MA, 1837
For the 200th anniversary of Harvard Shaker Village

No. 39 ( 1991): SUNSHINE OR STORM - Union Village, Ohio, 1876
Words/Tune: Elder Oliver C. Hampton

No. 40 (1991): CELESTIAL PRAISES - Canterbury, NH, 1841
Arranged by Roger Hall for SATB Chorus, 1974
For the 200th anniversary of Canterbury Shaker Village [GW]

No. 41 (1992): LIVING SOULS LET'S BE MARCHING - Tyringham, MA - From the singing of Brother Ricardo Belden, 1957 [LIL]

No. 42 (1992): WE MUST BE MEEK - Enfield, Connecticut, date unknown - From the singing of Sister Mildred Barker, 1970 [ESS]

No. 43 (1992): HOW LOVELY ARE THE FAITHFUL SOULS - New Lebanon, NY, 1830 - From the singing of Sister Mildred Barker, 1970 [ESS]

No. 44 (1993): WE HAVE SET OUT FOR GLORY - Shirley, Massachusetts, 1856 - For the 200th anniversary of Shirley Shaker Village

No. 45 (1993): BOWING SONG - New Lebanon, NY, 1865
For the 200th anniversary of Alfred Shaker Village -
From the singing of Sister Mildred Barker and Sister Frances Carr, 1974

No. 46 (1993): GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE - Enfield, NH, ca. 1851
Words/Tune: Elder Abraham Perkins
For the 200th anniversary of Enfield Shaker Village

No. 47 (1993): A DREAM - Union Village, Ohio, October 14, 1860
Words/Tune: Elder Harvey L. Eades [GW]

No. 48 (1994): DOXOLOGY - Union Village, Ohio, 1856
Words/Tune: Elder Oliver C. Hampton [GW]

No. 49 (1994): THE TRUE VINE - Sabbathday Lake, Maine, 1856
Words/Tune: Elder Joseph Brackett, Jr. (who also composed the best known Shaker song "Simple Gifts")
For the 200th anniversary of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

No. 50 (1994): A WELCOME SONG - Pleasant Hill, Kentucky,
May 9, 1869 - Words/Tune: Sister Polly M. Rupe [MOA]

No. 51 (1995): THE SEASONS - Union Village, Ohio, 1808
Words: Elder Richard McNemar/Tune: "The Black Joke"

No. 52 (1995): TYPICAL DANCING - Union Village, Ohio, 1809
Words: Elder Richard McNemar/ Tune: Sister Polly M. Rupe, 1846

No. 53 (1995): INVITATION TO SOULS - White Water, Ohio, ca. 1846 - Words/Tune: Sister Matilda A. Butler

No. 54 (1995): CELESTIAL CHOIR - Canterbury, NH, 1847
Arranged for two part chorus (SA) by Roger Hall [GW]

South Union, Kentucky, 1834

North Union, Ohio, May 1856/ Words and Tune: Elder James Prescott

TOTAL Shaker Hymns = 24

TOTAL Shaker Songs = 32

TOTAL Eastern Shaker Tunes = 36
(Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York)

TOTAL Western Shaker Tunes = 20
(Ohio, Kentucky)



Please Remember: If you use any of the above titles in your publication or recording, you should credit, Roger Hall, as the editor of the Shaker music.

Read more about his extensive work with Shaker music -- click here

For a list of his music lectures and workshops -- click here




For The Record

Also from THE SHAKER MESSENGER magazine was a shorter series comparing non-Shaker and Shaker tunes which have been recorded. This series was also compiled by Roger Lee Hall.

No. 1: "Lord of the Dance" and "Simple Gifts"
Volume 10/No. 1 (Fall, 1987)

No. 2: "Run, Shaker Life" and "Come Life, Shaker Life"
Volume 10/ Number 3 (Spring 1988)

No. 3: "The President's March" and "Rights of Conscience"
Volume 11, Number 4 (Summer 1989)

No. 4: "Animation" and "While We're Marching"
Volume 14/ Number 3 (1992)




To Order

Individual titles in the Shaker Music Preservation Series are available for $3.00 for each title. All handling and shipping costs are included (U.S.A. only).

The four titles in For The Record series are available for a donation of $10.00, USA shipping included.

To order the CDs, go to this link: CDs and DVD Releases

You can pay by credit card,
payable to PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal.

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After you make your donation,
make sure to indicate which titles you wish in the Song Series
or For The Record Series
and send your mailing address to:

Shaker Music Order


Shaker CD Series

Recordings of music performed by Shaker and non-Shaker musicians,
featuring original and arranged Shaker tunes,
plus in-person interviews with Shaker sisters about their music,



"Blended Together" - Interviews with The Shakers


"Gentle Words" - A Shaker Music Sampler




" Celestial Praises" - A Celebration of Shaker Spirituals

25 premiere recordings of original Shaker tunes
with arrangements by Roger Lee Hall and Conrad Held.


Multi-media collections
on computer DVDs

With lyrics book, image gallery, sheet music collection,
two music albums, and video clips from a Shaker music concert

"Give Good Gifts" - Shaker Music in the 20th Century



with four sheet music collections, music examples and video clips

"The Humble Heart" - A Forty Year Survey of Shaker Music



"Invitation to Zion" - A Shaker Music Guide





Largest Recorded Collection
with the Shakers singing


The spiritual music of the Shakers. as might be expected, is notable for its simplicity and straightforward nature...anyone with an interest in American religious music will find the material both interesting
and moving. Highly recommended.

--Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Click here





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