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Most Recorded Shaker Tunes

Based on a survey of available commercial recordings, this survey has the Top Twelve Tunes recorded and released between the fifty years from 1961 to 2011.

They are listed with Shaker composer or author (if known), Shaker community location, and year of origin.

Top Twelve Recorded Shaker Tunes

Compiled by Roger Lee Hall


1.   "Simple Gifts" (Tis the gift to be simple) - Quick dance song
Joseph Brackett, Alfred, Maine, 1848.

2.   "Come Life, Shaker Life" - Quick dance song
Issachar Bates, New Lebanon, New York, about 1835.

3.   "Who Will Bow and Bend Like the Willow" -
Canterbury, New Hampshire, about 1843.

4.   "Love is Little" - South Union, Kentucky, about 1834.

5.   "Come to Zion" - Paulina Bates, New Lebanon, NY, 1864.

6.   "The Humble Heart" - Tune: Thomas Hammond/ Text: Eunice  Wyeth,
Harvard, Massachusetts, about 1820.

7.   "I Never Did Believe" - Betsy Bates, New Lebanon, NY, 1829.

8.   "Followers of the Lamb" - Clarissa Jacobs, New Lebanon, NY, 
about 1847.

9.   "Living Souls, Let's Be Marching" - Tyringham,   Massachusetts, 1853.

10. "Mother Has Come With Her Beautiful Song" - Paulina Springer,
Alfred, Maine, 1887.

11. "Now My Dear Companions" - Augustus Blase,
Watervliet, New York, about 1865.

12. "We Will All Go Home With You" - Canterbury, New Hampshire, 1862.

Nos. 1 - 4, 7, 10, 12 are available on the CD:

Early Shaker Spirituals - sung by the Sabbathday Lake Shakers

Nos. 1, 4, 8, and 9 are available on the CD and accompanying songbook:

Love is Little - A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals

Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10 are available on the CD:

Simple Gifts - Shaker Chants and Spirituals



These two CD releases on Rounder Records, with 40 Shaker spirituals each, are the most extensive ones featuring the Shakers singing and speaking about their music...


Early Shaker Spirituals


A CD collection of 40 Shaker spirituals sung by The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Many of the spirituals are sung by Sister R. Mildred Barker, the foremost Shaker singer of her time. The spirituals include laboring songs, gift songs, prayer songs, a hymn and anthem and several interviews with Sister Mildred Barker. Extensive notes and texts for all the music are provided by Daniel W. Patterson.


You can order from here:

Early Shaker Spirituals




Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers

This 2 CD set includes 40 Shaker spirituals sung by the Shakers from Canterbury, New Hampshire and Sabbathday Lake, Maine. It includes a history of Shaker music narrated by Sister R. Mildred Barker and Sister Lillian Phelps. There are also interviews with Sister R. Mildred Barker, Eldress Bertha Lindsay, and Sister Lillian Phelps.

The interviews were done in 1960 by William (Bill) Randle, and in 1972 and 1980 by Roger Hall, who has written the extensive notes for this unique historical collection.

The set also has an attractive 72 page illustrated booklet with examples of Shaker music and the words to all 40 Shaker spirituals plus a bibliography and discography.


You can order from at this link:

Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers




Shaker Music (Home page)



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