“Wayfaring Stranger”


The singer confesses, "I'm just a poor, wayfaring stranger / A-travelling through this world of woe." The singer plans to cross the Jordan (into heaven), there to meet with family and loved ones and live forever free from trouble and burden

Supplemental text

Wayfaring Stranger
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From the Original Sacred Harp (1971 Denson revision), p. 457.

I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
While journe'ing thru 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 Father,
  I'm going there no more to roam;
  I'm only going over Jordan,
  I'm only going over home.

          *** B ***

"I'm Just A-Going Over Jordon" (sic.)

From Harvey H. Fuson, Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands, p. 208.
From the singing of Mrs. Louisa Moses.

I know dark clouds will father around me,
My way is rough and steep, I know;
But beautiful fields lie just before me,
In that bright world to which I go.

(6 additional stanzas, the last having 6 lines)

Cross references


  • Clarence Ashley, "Wayfaring Pilgrim" (on WatsonAshley01)
  • Horton Barker, "Wayfaring Stranger" (on Barker01)
  • Linzy Hicks, "A Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim" (on USWarnerColl01)
  • Roscoe Holcomb, "Wayfaring Stranger" (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
  • Almeda Riddle, "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (on LomaxCD1701, LomaxCD1704)
  • Pete Seeger, "The Wayfaring Stranger" (on PeteSeeger07, PeteSeeger07b)
  • Vaughn's Texas Quartet, "The Wayfaring Pilgrim" (Victor V-40231, 1930)


  1. FSCatskills 77, "Poor and Foreign Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Warner 93, "A Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Fuson, p. 208, "I'm Just A-Going Over Jordon" (1 text, clearly this though it lacks the "Wayfaring Stranger" lines)
  4. Lomax-FSUSA 97, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 880-881, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune, plus verses from several parodies)
  6. Arnett, p. 32, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Chase, pp. 162-165, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 3 tunes)
  8. Abrahams/Foss, pp. 124-125, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. PSeeger-AFB, p. 15, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Silber-FSWB, p. 352, "Wayfaring Stranger" (1 text)
  11. ST FSC077 (Partial)
  12. Roud #3339
  13. BI, FSC077


Alternate titles: “Judgement”; “Wayfaring Pilgrim”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1816 (Kentucky Harmony, as "Judgement")
Keywords: religious death
Found in: US(Ap,MA,SE)