Dark and Thorny is the Desert

DESCRIPTION: "Dark and thorny is the desert, Through which pilgrims make their way; But beyond this vale of sorrows Lie the fields of endless day." Difficulties on the way to heaven are described, but the pleasures of arrival are emphasized
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5)
KEYWORDS: nonballad travel religious
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 767, "Thorny Desert" (1 short text, 1 tune)
NOTES [55 words]: Apparently well-known in shape note hymns, but less popular now, perhaps because it has a rather militant feel. Some versions take the tune "Regent Square," but this is apparently not universal. It would seem that one of the earliest, if not the earliest, appearance was in the Southern Harmony, but I'm not sure which edition. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: BrS5767

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