Any youngster can tell you what this songmeans: Simplicity is sometimes better than complexity, and we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. ~ Will Schmid
The man who wrote this claimed it came to him by divineinspiration, and I truly believe that might have been the case. This may be the perfect piece of music. I've sung it close to 15,000 times over the years, and I never get tired of it.
Randy Folger, who sang the song each weekday for visitors at the "Shaker Village" in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.
I don’t think he was musically trained, as far as I can tell from my research. There isn’t a lot of background material to find on this question, but I do believe that he picked up music as it was passed to him through the community. They felt it was a communal gift to be able to writemusic, a gift from God. They wrote about the experience as having inspirationally received a song.
The Music Educators National Conference — the professional organization for American music teachers — named it among a handful of songs that every American should know. Teachers ranked it right up there with the "National Anthem," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Home on the Range."
Everyone agreed that this is a song all Americans should be able to sing. It was a hands-down favorite among teachers. And I've talked with kids in elementary and high schools about it, too. Any youngster can tell you what this song means: Simplicity is sometimes better than complexity, and we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.