Simple Gifts

Exquisite and sometimes haunting solo piano renditions of traditional American Songs.

(You may listen to 30 seconds of each song on the "Listen/Buy CDs" page.)

1. Simple Gifts (2:44)
2. Fair and Tender Maidens (3:20)
3. Shenandoah (5:30)
4. Black is the Color (5:44)
5. Goin' Home (5:10)
6. I Gave My Love a Cherry (4:20)
7. Motherless Child/All the Pretty Little Horses ( 5:44)
8. He's Gone Away (4:46)
9. Simple Gifts (2:44)

         Total Time (40:50)


These are some of my favorite songs. Many of them I have known since childhood, while others were learned in college studying the ballads of Appalachia and the British Isles.


Simple Gifts – The Shakers were a pious people who believed in equality and leading lives of simplicity. They dramatized their songs through dance.


Fair and Tender Maidens – This Southern Mountain ballad originated in Scotland in the 17th century. Many ballads transplanted from the British Isles were transmitted from mother to daughter.


Shenandoah – A boatman song from the rivers west of the Mississippi, this song takes its title from a Missouri River Indian Chief. I learned this song when I was 10, while teaching myself to play guitar, and looking out onto the Missouri River from our home in Great Falls, Montana.


Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair – Two melodies are presented of this Southern Mountain Ballad.


Goin' Home – in 1893, Antonin Dvorak wrote his “New World Symphony” in the spirit of national American melodies. Lyrics to “Goin' Home” were written to the Largo Movement by his student, William Arms Fisher.


I Gave My Love a Cherry – This lullaby is found throughout Appalachia and the Ozarks. An early version exists in a 15th century English manuscript.


Motherless Child/All the Pretty Little Horses – These 2 songs from the American South, a Spiritual, and a lullaby, are played as a cry, a keening, for the children of the world.


He's Gone Away – A North Carolina Mountain Ballad of British origin.


 Recorded in August, 2006 at Central Washington University Concert Hall, Ellensburg, Washington. Sound engineer, Steve Reich. Cover art and quilt blocks by Jennifer Goodenberger.

 

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