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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
johnross Origins: Simple Gifts / 'Tis a Gift to be Simple (36) RE: Origins: Simple Gifts / 'Tis a Gift to be Simple 01 Feb 09

Copland used "Simple Gifts" in his suite of Old American Songs (first recorded by William Warfield in 1953) before the Armstrongs' 1961 Folkways LP brought it to the canon of the folk music revival. And Copland had used it even earlier as part of Appalachian Spring. So the song was probably well-known to classical music listeners before the Armstrongs' LP came out.

As regular listeners to WFMT, it's more than likely that the Armstrongs knew the Warfield record, and it could have been one of their sources.

Sidney Carter didn't get hold of it until 1963, when he adopted the melody for "Lord of the Dance."

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