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"The Wayfaring Stranger" (aka "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" or "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger"), Roud 3339, is a well-known American spiritual/folk song likely originating in the early 19th century about a plaintive soul on the journey through life. As with most folk songs, many variations of the lyrics exist.


Use [edit]Edit

It became one of Burl Ives's signature songs, included on his 1944 album The Wayfaring Stranger. Ives used it as the title of his early 1940s CBS radio show and his 1948 autobiography. He became known as "The Wayfaring Stranger".

The New Christy Minstrels recorded their song "The Ballad of Julie Ann" to this tune.

In classical music [edit]Edit

Ernő Dohnányi used the tune (along with two other traditional American folktunes) in his final composition American Rhapsody (1953). In addition, George Crumb used the tune with lyrics in Unto the Hills (2001), for soprano, piano, and percussion quartet.

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
I'm traveling through this world of woe
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I'm going there to see my mother/father
I'm going there 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
Yet golden fields lie just before me
Where God's redeemed shall ever sleep
I'm going there to see my father/mother
S/he said he'd/she'd meet me when I come
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that good land
I want to shout salvation's story
In concert with the blood-washed band

I'm going there to meet my Saviour
To sing his praise forever more
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home