Wayfaring Stranger

DESCRIPTION: The singer confesses, "I'm just a poor, wayfaring stranger / A-travelling through this world of woe." The singer plans to cross the Jordan (into heaven), there to meet with family and loved ones and live forever free from trouble and burden
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1816 (Kentucky Harmony, as "Judgement")
KEYWORDS: religious death
REFERENCES (30 citations):
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 77, "Poor and Foreign Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 93, "A Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, p. 208, "I'm Just A-Going Over Jordon" (1 text, clearly this though it lacks the "Wayfaring Stranger" lines)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, pp. 80-81, "I Am a Pilgrum" (sic.) (1 text, 1 tune)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol5, pp. 41-42, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Riddle-ASingerAndHerSongs, pp. 94-95, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 771, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, p. 81, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rosenbaum-FolkVisionsAndVoices, pp. 68-69, "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, p. 33, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 91, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 177, "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Barton-OldPlantationHymns, p. 5, "Goin Over on de Uddah Side of Jordan" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Dett/Fenner/Rathbun/Cleveland-ReligiousFolkSongsOfTheNegro-HamptonInstitute, p. 191, "Pilgrim's Song" (1 text, 1 tune; pp. 126-127 in the 1901 edition)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, p. 119, "The Poor, Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune, a copy of a shape note version)
Lomax/Lomax-FolkSongUSA 97, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, p. 37, "Over Jordan (Wayfaring Stranger)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, pp. 880-881, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune, plus verses from several parodies)
Arnett-IHearAmericaSinging, p. 32, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, pp. 162-165, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 3 tunes)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, pp. 124-125, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Seeger-AmericanFavoriteBallads, p. 15, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 34, "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 352, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Daniel W. Patterson, "Archive Notes," Vol. XV, No. 2 (Nov 1967), pp. 58-59, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Horton Barker: Folk Singer Supreme," Vol. XXII, No. 4 (Nov 1974), pp. 146+153, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 51, "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (notes only)
Tobitt-TheDittyBag, p. 47, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
OneTuneMore, p. 59, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Howard P. Odum and Guy B. Johnson, The Negro and His Songs (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1925), pp.137-138, "The Pilgrim's Song" (1 text)
Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 22, #5 (1973), p, 21, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune, the Horton Barker version)

ST FSC077 (Partial)
Roud #3339
Clarence Ashley, "Wayfaring Pilgrim" (on WatsonAshley01)
Horton Barker, "Wayfaring Stranger" (on Barker01)
Linzy Hicks, "A Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim" (on USWarnerColl01)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Wayfaring Stranger" (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
Almeda Riddle, "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (on LomaxCD1701, LomaxCD1704)
Pete Seeger, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (on PeteSeeger07, PeteSeeger07b)
Vaughn's Texas Quartet, "The Wayfaring Pilgrim" (Victor V-40231, 1930)

cf. "Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)" (tune)
Wayfaring Pilgrim
NOTES [72 words]: For some reason, this song has powerfully captured the attention of a segment of the folk song revival; there are a remarkable number of albums issued with 14 of the singer's own songs and "Wayfaring Stranger." It's a good song, but why this one of all the traditional songs out there? - PJS
Perhaps the tune has some special fascination? Schinhan says more about its oddities than almost any other piece in the Brown collection. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: FSC077

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