Wayfaring Stranger with lyrics


Wayfaring Stranger sung by Michael Parks

and Bonnie Bedelia from the TV series Then Came Bronson.


Jack White singing Wayfaring Stranger

from the soundtrack of Cold Mountain


Johnny Cash sings Wayfaring Strange


Dusty Springfield sings

Wayfaring Stranger


Wayfaring Stranger cords



About the song Wayfaring Stranger


Wayfaring Stranger also known as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger," is a well-known spiritual/folk song about a plaintive soul on the journey through life. The journey the singer speaks of is the trials and tribulations of life. Home is the final reward of reunitingwith loved ones in Heaven in the afterlife. There are many and varied opinions as to its origin. Some of the theories include Appalachian Folk, Old Irish, and Catskills Folk. Others cite its origin from the religious revival meeting popular in Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas.  In these revival meetings there was the custom of the 'Mourner's Bench' where penitents publicly confessed their sins. It was 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 song is often classified as a "white spiritual." The first known printing of it is in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony, or, A Choice Collection of Psalm Tunes, Hymns, and Anthems, in Three Parts

Lyrics to Wayfaring Stranger

I am a poor wayfaring stranger travelin' through this world alone.
But there's no sickness, toil or danger in that bright land to which I go.
I'm going there to see my mother. I'm going there no more to roam.
I'm only goin' over Jordan. I'm only goin' over home.

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me. I know my way is rough and steep.
But beautiful fields lie just beyond me, where souls redeemed their vigils keep.
And I'm going there to see my father. I'm going there no more to roam.
I'm only goin' over Jordan. I'm only goin' over home.

I want to wear that crown of Glory, when I get there to that bright land.
I want to shout down Satan's story in concert with the blood-washed band.
I'm going there to see my brothers; they said they'd meet me when I come.
I'm only goin' over Jordan. I'm only goin' over home.


Sheet Music for Wayfaring Stranger  printable version








Wayfaring Stranger

The Wayfaring Stranger was the name of the CBS radio program which Burl Ives (1909-1995) hosted. The Wayfaring Stranger served as the unofficial songbook for a generation of would-be folksingers who followed.



Cold Mountain Soundtrack 

Wayfaring Stranger by Jack White


Then Came Bronson 

is now on DVD !  An international version that has footage not seen in U.S. telecasts



Cold Mountain DVD 






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