I Will Bow and Be Simple
DESCRIPTION: "I will bow and be simple, I will bow and be free, I will bow and be humble, Yea, bow like the willow tree." "I will bow, this is the token, I will wear the easy yoke, I will bow and will be broke, Yea, I'll fall upon that rock."
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Mary Hazzard collection, according to Andrews)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Edward Deming Andrews, _The Gift to be Simple: Songs, Dances and Rituals of the American Shakers_, 1940 (references are to the 1962 Dover reprint), p. 113, "I Will Bow and Be Simple" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [89 words]: I have absolutely no evidence that this song is traditional; it is one of many Shaker songs on the theme of simplicity. But it has a beautiful melody that has caused it to be sung in the folk revival, so I have included it here.
The reference to the "easy yoke" is surely to Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke [ζυγον, zygon] upon you, and you will find rest for your souls [ψυχαις, psychais, i.e. psyches]. . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.