Saturday Song: Wayfaring Stranger

The awesome Trace Adkins gives us one of the great traditional country songs of all time: Wayfaring Stranger:

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Every country, folk, or bluegrass singer worth his or her strings takes a pass at Wayfaring Stranger. Trace’s powerful baritone and bluesy approach is one of my favorites.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the haunting approach of Emmylou Harris:

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And a bit of High Lonesome from Mr. Bill Monroe, as introduced by Marty Stuart and a small animal crouching on Marty Stuart’s head:

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This version from Johnny Cash is from later in his life:

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Oh, okay, and here’s some Dolly, because everything is better with Dolly.

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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

Do you have your own favorite version? Post it!


Tennessee Ernie Ford: I forget sometimes what a wonderful voice he really had.

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Jack White: My friend Gary recommended this. I didn’t think it was White’s best work, but it does show the powerful influence pure Delta Blues exerts directly upon White. This isn’t a secondhand Delta Blues influence via the Stones: it’s the real deal, with a good lacing of bluegrass to back it up.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.