Special Interest Books
Partake a Little Morsel: Popular Shaker Hymns of the Nineteenth Century
Members: $13.50 / Non-Members: $15.00
By: Carol Medlicott
Among the various forms of Shaker song, hymns have sustained the worship of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing or Shakers, for over two hundred years. Distinguished from other song types by their lengthy texts of metrical rhymed poetry, hymns can accommodate an endless range of theological and spiritual ideas. During the nineteenth century, Shakers produced hundreds of individual hymns, which were recorded by countless individual Shakers in myriad manuscript hymn books. Yet from this enormous body of hymnody, a core group of hymns readily emerges, hymns that were used and beloved for decades across the Shaker world, from Maine to Kentucky. Remarkably, the hymns in this core group are virtually unknown today. This study helps today's reader to "partake a little morsel" of a relatively untapped vein of American folk hymnody, revealing a fresh understanding of the Shakers' amazing complexity and vitality.