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Poor Wayfaring Stranger Lyrics and History

Poor Wayfaring Stranger is a traditional folk song of unknown origin. There are many and varied opinions as to its origin. Some of the theories include Appalachian Folk, Old Irish, and Catskills Folk. One theory is that it originates from the Negro Spirituals and there was a deliberate concealment of the songs origins. Clearly the song is of a spiritual nature as the Wayfaring Stranger sings of the hardships of his temporal life passing by and speaks of his journeying on to a better place. Regardless of its origins, it is a hauntingly beautiful piece of music. This song has been recorded countless times. Best known artists include:

My Picks are:
• Emmy Lou Harris – Heartaches and Highway
• Eva Cassady – –Eva By Heart and –Song Bird
• Natalie Merchant – –House Carpenter's Daughter
• Tony Rice – Cold on the Shoulder
• Jack White ––Cold Mountain Soundtrack

• Burl Ives
• Doc Watson
• Roger McGuinn'
• Dolly Parton
• Jerry Reid
• Dusty Springfield
• Trace Adkins
• Scott Ainslie
• 16 Horsepower
• Patty Griffin



I am a poor, wayfaring stranger
Wandering o’er this world of woe
And there’s no sickness, toil or danger
In that bright land to which I go
I’m going home to see my father
I’m going home, no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

I know dark clouds will gather round me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beauteous fields lie just before me
Where men redeemed their vigil’s keep
I’m going home to see my mother
I’m going there, no more to roam
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

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