woensdag 19 februari 2014
Going Over Jordan / I'm A Pilgrim And A Stranger (1858) / Poor Wayfaring Stranger (1891) / Pilgrim's Song (1909) / Wayfaring Pilgrim (1929)
"(Poor) Wayfaring Stranger" is a Southern Appalachian religious folk song that has been passed down by the hands of singers from both the white and black traditions since the time of the American Revolution. The melody bears some resemblance to several of the older ballads such as "Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies" and "O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother"
Annabel Morris Buchanan in her book "Folk Hymns of America" (1938) said that the earliest known version of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" appeared in print under the title "Judgement" in the 2nd edition of Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony published in 1817, but she was unable to verify these citations.
"(I'm A) Poor Wayfaring Stranger" is closely connected with "I'm A Pilgrim (and A Stranger)" in both lyrics and melody. I have added a few versions of this variation on the bottom of this post.
The first clear appearance of the lyrics of "Wayfaring Stranger" was in the songbook "The Christian Songster" (1858)
In this book it's titled "Going over Jordan".
In the meantime the first line "I'm A Pilgrim and A Stranger" had been changed to "I'm A Poor Wayfaring Stranger" in Marshall W. Taylor's "Revival Hymns & Plantation Melodies (1882)"
In this book it's titled "I'm Just a-Going Over Home".
Charles Davis Tillman was responsible for publicizing the lyrics from Bever's 1858 Christian Songster version, together with two additional stanzas from Taylor's 1882 Revival Hymns & Plantation Melodies version and popularizing the combination (with the more familiar title "Poor Wayfaring Stranger") with the minor key tune of various African American and Appalachian nuance. The combination is so hauntingly striking and memorable that the tune itself has been widely recognized as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" or just "Wayfaring Stranger" ever since Tillman spread it beyond the Sacred Harp tradition in his Revival songbook of 1891.
The song was also included in Thomas P. Fenner's "Religious Folk Songs of the Negro" (1909)
In this book it was titled "Pilgrim's Song"
Here are the recordings, beginning with the oldest version:
(o) Vaughan's Texas Quartet 1930 (as "Wayfaring Pilgrim")
Recorded in Dallas, Texas on October, 9, 1929
Released in 1930 on Victor 40231
Also released in 1933 on Montgomery Ward 4252 and 4299
(c) Burl Ives (1944) (as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger")
Burl Ives first introduced "Wayfaring Stranger" in a 1940 CBS radio-show of the same name.
On February 1, 1941 Burl Ives recorded an album titled "The Wayfaring Stranger" in the Columbia Recording Studio, 55W, 16th St., New York City.
Strangely enough this album didn't include the song "(Poor) Wayfaring Stranger" itself.
A 1950 re-release of this album did include the song "Wayfaring Stranger", but this was a version recorded in 1949.
Burl Ives first recorded "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" in 1944 in New York for the Asch-label.
(c) Burl Ives (1944) (as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger")
Recorded around March-April 1944 in New York City (with Alan Lomax)
Released in 1944 on record # 345-1A of the 78 rpm 3-record album set "Wayfaring Stranger" (Asch Records)
Here's the accompanying textbook:
Burl Ives was so fond of the song that he recorded two albums with Wayfaring Stranger as the title, encouraged "Wayfaring Stranger" as his nickname, and titled his autobiography The Wayfaring Stranger.
(c) Jo Stafford (1948)
Released on the album "American Folk Songs" on the Capitol-label.
Or listen here:
(c) Mr. J. W. Breazeal 1958 ("The Wayfaring Pilgrim")
Recorded on location by Max Hunter with his reel-to-reel tape recorder in Springfield, Missouri on April 27, 1958
(c) Dusty Springfield (1966) (as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger")
From her tv show on the BBC on September 1, 1966.
Dusty's version was modelled after Jo Stafford's 1948 version, as she explaines in the intro.
(c) Joan Baez 1969 (as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger")
(c) Tim Buckley (1968) (as "Wayfaring Stranger")
Released on the album Work In Progress
(c) Emmylou Harris (1980) (as "Wayfaring Stranger")
Emmylou Harris covered the song on her 1980 album Roses in the Snow.
Harris' version peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
It reached number 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.
(c) Eva Cassidy (1996) (as "Wayfaring Stranger")
On her album "Eva By Heart" (1997) one 1 year later the same recording ended up on "Songbird"
Johnny Cash recorded the song for American III: Solitary Man in 2000, credited as being traditional.
(c) Maria McKee (2001) (as "Wayfaring Stranger")
in the movie "Songcatcher".
(c) Jack White (2003)
The song was used in the motion picture Cold Mountain, performed by Jack White.
Ed Sheeran covered this song on the One Take EP (2011)
(c) Neil Young & Crazy Horse (2012) (as "Wayfarin' Stranger")
On the album Americana.
(c) Driftwood (2013)
On the next link you can listen to 82 versions:
Here are a few versions of the "I'm A Pilgrim (and A Stranger)" variation, as a close connection to "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (as I mentioned above)
(o) Norfolk Jubilee Quartet (1924)
Released on Paramount 12225.
(c) Taskiana Four (1928)
Released on Victor 38029
(c) Soul Stirrers (1961)
(c) The Byrds (1968).
(c) Willie Nelson (2010)
(c) Aaron Neville (2010)
The songbook "The Christian Songster" (1858), I mentioned at the top of this post, also contains another song with a similar title: "I'm a Pilgrim, and I'm a Stranger".
This is another song with different lyrics and another melody.
On September 11, 1916 the Imperial Quartet recorded a version of that song for the Victor-label (Victor 18199)