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  • re:'Lord of the Dance' tune : "[track artist=Joseph Brackett]Simple Gifts[/track]" is a Shaker song written and composed in 1848 by Elder [artist]Joseph Brackett[/artist]. ~~~ It has endured many inaccurate descriptions. Though often classified as an anonymous Shaker hymn or as a work song, it is better classified as a dance song. ~~~ The tune was written by [artist]Joseph Brackett[/artist] (1797–1882) in 1848. Brackett, a lifelong resident of Maine, first joined the Shakers at Gorham, Maine, when his father's farm helped to form the nucleus of a new Shaker settlement. ~~~ The song was largely unknown outside Shaker communities until [artist]Aaron Copland[/artist] used its melody for the score of Martha Graham's ballet [track artist=Aaron Copland]Appalachian Spring[/track], first performed in 1944. Copland used "Simple Gifts" a second time in 1950 in his first set of Old American Songs for voice and piano, which was later orchestrated. ~~~
  • Many people thought that the tune of "Simple Gifts" was a traditional Celtic one but both the music and original lyrics are actually the compositions of Brackett. "Simple Gifts" has been adapted or arranged many times since by folksingers and composers. ~~~ Probably the best known version is by English songwriter [artist]Sydney Carter[/artist], who adapted the Shaker tune for his song "[track artist=Sydney Carter]Lord of the Dance[/track]", first published in 1963. ~~~ The Carter lyrics were adapted, in ignorance of the actual origins, without authorization or acknowledgments by [artist]Ronan Hardiman[/artist] for [artist]Michael Flatley[/artist]'s dance musical Lord of the Dance, which opened in 1996. ~~~ lots more

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