## “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”

### Description

The singer witnesses his/her mother being carried off for burial. Her example is praised. The singer wonders if they will meet again: "Will the circle be unbroken, By and by, Lord, by and by? There's a better home a-waiting In the sky, Lord, in the sky."

### Notes

According to Cohen, the original version of this had words by Ada R. Habershon and music by Charles Gabriel and was published in 1907/8. That version, however, had a completely different tune from the familiar Carter Family version; the song has probably been subjected to recensional handling -- possibly by A. P. Carter. - RBW

### Cross references

- cf. "Since I Laid My Burden Down" (tune)

### Recordings

- Roy Acuff, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (Perfect 16101, 1935) (OKeh 05587 [as Roy Acuff & his Smoky Mountain Boys], 1940)
- Alphabetical Four, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" (Decca 7601, 1939; rec. 1938)
- Clarence Ashley, Clint Howard et al, Jean Ritchie, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (on WatsonAshley01)
- Bud & James Billings [pseuds. for Frank Luther and, perhaps, Carson Robison], "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Bluebird B-6406, 1936; rec. 1928)
- Brown's Ferry Four, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (King 530, 1946)
- Rev. J. C. Burnett, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (Columbia 14385-D, 1928)
- The Carter Family, "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" (Conqueror 8529, 1935) (Columbia 20268, prob. c. 1946)
- Doc Hopkins, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (Radio 1411, n.d.)
- Hallelujah Trio, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" (London 16020, 1950)
- Frank & James McCravy, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Brunswick 194, 1928; Jewel 5907/Oriole 1907/Perfect 12601/Challenge 876, 1930; Conqueror 7794, 1931; rec. 1927) (OKeh 45433, 1930)
- William McEwan, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" (Columbia A1364, 1913; rec. c. 1912)
- Metropolitan Quartet, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" (Edison 52111, 1927)
- Monroe Brothers, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Montgomery Ward M-7142, 1937)
- Morris Brothers, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken Bye And Bye?" (Bluebird B-8103, 1939)
- Silver Leaf Quartette of Norfolk, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (OKeh 8777/ARC 6-12-63/Vocalion 04395, 1930)
- Frank Stamps & his All-Star Quartet, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Montgomery Ward M-8194, 1939)
- Frank Welling & John McGhee, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (Champion 16035, 1930; Champion 45123 [as Welling Family Trio], c. 1935)
- Westbrook Conservatory Entertainers, "Will That Circle Be Unbroken" (Broadway 8194, late 1920s)
- J. B. Whitmire's Blue Sky Trio, "Will The Circle Be Unbroken There" (Bluebird B-8512, 1940)

### References

- Randolph 635, "Can the Circle Be Unbroken?" (1 text, 1 tune)
- Randolph/Cohen, pp. 440-442, "Can the Circle Be Unbroken?" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 635)
- Silber-FSWB, p. 371, "Can the Circle Be Unbroken?" (1 text)
- DT, CRCUNBRK*
- Roud #3409
- BI, R635