I Will Bow and Be Simple
About the Song
This "bowing song" was written for use in Shaker worship in which men and women danced (separately) as they sang without instrumental accompaniment. It was composed in 1847 in the North Family (a large communal household) of the Shaker Community in New Lebanon, Kentucky.
The Revels recording is from their "Wassail, Wassail" album. Photographs are from serveral Shaker Community historical museums including Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, and Handcock, Massachusetts. The only continuing actual Shaker Community today is located in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.
Shakers, like the Puritans and early Quakers, believed it was wrong to play musical instruments.