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The world I have forsaken
My friends I've left behind
Determin'd for a city
That's out of sight to find
O blessed happy number!
With you I'll bear the cross,
And count all eathly glory
But vanity and dross.

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Source: Patterson, D W, 1979, The Shaker Spiritual, Princeton University Press, New Jersey

Patterson wrote:

Two scribes at Harvard recorded this song about the year 1828, and both had trouble barring it. They sang the tune with rubato, a feature not accounted for in the rules of music they had studied. When the second half of this tune is sung in the Appalachians for "The Death of Queen Jane" the performance has the same trait. I suspect the Shaker song also contains a reminiscence of the seventeenth-century English song "A-Beggin We Will Go"

Analogue: The second half of the tune resembles "The Death of Queen Jane" in Bronson, Traditional Tunes, iii, 146-147, nos 4,5 and 7.


Related Songs:  The Death of Queen Jane (melodic)

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