Shaker Songs

by Winterbirds

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Combining original music with texts from the 18th and 19th centuries, "Shaker Songs" brings the thought and poetry of the American Shakers to life. At once familiar and strange, this music weaves together the sounds of traditional Appalachian folk and new Progressive folk into a compelling exploration of the tensions between humility, self-expression, and love.


released January 24, 2019

Songs by Nick Rich

Deena Rizkalla, violin and voice
Emily Damrel, bass and voice
Greyson Leybourne, banjo and mandolin
Hannah Lomas, voice
Jamie Rowen, rhythm guitar, banjo, and voice
Krisztina Dér, flute
Nick Rich, guitar, mandolin, and voice
Sean Mulcahy, accordion
Zeb Gambill, mandolin

Hannah Lomas and Jamie Rowen appear courtesy of Stray Local

Recorded by Dylan Drake at Logan Manor Studio (tracks 1-5) and Joe Dejarnette at Studio 808a (tracks 6-8), with additional recording by Aaron Bond at TuneSquad Studios. Mixed by Joe Dejarnette.

Instrument Maintenance by Aaron Morris

Band Photography by Sunset Hills Photography

Album Cover by Wayne Reich and Nick Rich, featuring 1844 Shaker Needlepoint Sampler by Mariah Boil (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Financial Support provided by the Kenan Institute for the Arts


all rights reserved



Winterbirds California

Winterbirds offers a powerful take on Progressive Folk. Deeply versed in traditional Appalachian Folk, Bluegrass and Newgrass, Classical Music, and Contemporary Chamber Music, these young performers cloak timeless melodies in unusual instrumental colors and thrilling textures. ... more

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Track Name: Little Simple Song/A Hymn of Love
Love the inward, new creation,
Love the glory that it brings;
Love to lay a good foundation,
In the line of outward things.

Love a life of true devotion,
Love your lead in outward care;
Love to see all hands in motion,
Love to take your equal share.

Love to love what is belov'd,
Love to hate what is abhorr'd;
Love all earnest souls that covet
Lovely love and its reward.

Love repays the lovely lover,
And in lovely ranks above,
Lovely love shall live for ever,
Loving lovely loved love.
Track Name: The Humble Heart/Pretty Treasures
"The Humble Heart"

The proud and lofty I despise,
And bless the meek and low,
I hear the humble soul that cries,
And comfort I bestow.
Of all the trees among the wood
I'd choose one little vine,
The meek and low are nigh to me,
The humble heart is mine.

Tall cedars fall before the wind,
The tempest breaks the oak
While slender vines will bow and bend
And rise beneath the stroke.
I've chosen me one pleasant grove
And set my lovely vine,
Here in my vineyard will I rove,
The humble heart is mine.

Of all the flocks that fill the land
One little band I've chose,
Let loose above a simple dove
And set her peace on those.
The lovely object of my love
Around my heart shall twine,
My flock, my vineyard, and my dove,
The humble heart is mine.

"Pretty Treasures"

One, two, three, four,
All of these and many more,
Only look, look and see,
Pretty treasures given me.
In this simple, pretty way,
Mother says that we may play,
Count the jewels, roll the ball,
Have simplicity with all
Track Name: Brush Off Pride
United we will be, and brush off pride and stiff,
Come brush, yea brush, and brush again till limber as a withe.
Let's turn around and shake off and break away the bands
Till we are free, Till we are simple, simple enough to shake hands.
Track Name: Bright Little Diamond
For my bright little diamond and my little golden seal,
For my pretty pearl of Mother's love, how thankful I feel.
I will bow and be simple, I will bow and be free,
I will bow and be humble like the willow tree.

I will bow as my token, I will wear the easy yoke,
I will bow and be broken, your mercies invoke.
For my bright little diamond and my little golden seal,
For my pretty pearl of Mother's love, how thankful I feel.

O I want to feel little, I want to feel small,
The last of my sisters, the least of them all.

O I want to be holy, more perfect in love,
O I want to be gentle and meek as a dove.
O I want to be humble and simple in mind,
More watchful, more careful, more fully resigned.

O I want to feel little, I want to feel small,
The last of my sisters, the least of them all.

O the least of Mother's little love is good enough for me,
It is more than I'm worthy of, contented I'll be.
For my bright little diamond and my little golden seal,
For my pretty pearl of Mother's love, how thankful I feel.

O I want to feel little, I want to feel small,
The last of my sisters, the least of them all.
Track Name: Dismission Reel/Walk Softly
When we assemble here to worship God,
Sing His Praises and hear His word,
We will walk softly.

Pure of heart and clean of hand,
Our souls are free from Satan's bands,
We will walk softly.

While we are passing through the sacred door,
The fold where Christ has gone before,
We will walk softly.

Worship, bow down, and rejoice,
And when we hear the shepherd's gentle voice,
We will walk softly.
Track Name: Who Will Bend Like the Willow/Limber Zeal
Who will bend like the willow
Who will turn and twist and reel
In the gale of simple freedom
Wring the wood, wreck the steel

Who will drink the wine of power
Tip your head and drop it down
Pride and bondage all forgetting
Mother's wine is freely found

Oh that drink I will have it
I will bow and bend below
I'll be reeling, twisting, turning
No more flesh and pain to know

I will shake every fetter
From my soul as I go
I will feel the gospel power
Burning in my very soul
Track Name: Zealous Laborers/Chest of Drawers
Oh how I long to be released,
Not feel one poison dart,
From every feeling of the beast
And his foul stuff around my heart

But while I'm laboring with my might
And every step I tread,
The hate-filled beast will heave in sight
And tread I will upon his head

I need not think of gaining much
Or dance some handsome form;
To give that floor an easy touch
That scarce will keep my ankles warm

For so far have I not increased
Beyond my bowing head
That I can manage such a beast
Though my whole body flows with sweat
Track Name: Love by the Handful/The Nightengal
"Love by the Handful"

Here's love by the handful,
Here's love by the ball;
Here's love for the elders,
Here's love for you all.

This love it flows freely,
From this little store,
To all Mother's children,
Mine from my core.

"The Nightengal"

Coo lu lu lu la lu lali lu
Ki li li li lila li

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