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1. “Wayfarin’ Stranger”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STYLE PERIOD/GENRE
1. at least 2 centuries ago
2. choral composition
3. Nationalistic
1. composer unknown
2. America's southern Appalachian culture
3. arranged by Jan Reese
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPOSER INFO
Who composed it? No one knows. The Song's Possible Genesis Early
publishers of Wayfaring Stranger extracted it from America's southern Appalachian
culture. Was it born there? If not, how did it come there? Most European
immigrants who settled in that region were from the British Isles and Germanic
states. It follows logically that the song, or fragments of it, may have crossed the
Atlantic, perhaps prior to the American Revolution (1775-1783). Some researchers
have speculated the song could be rooted in Melungeon tradition. The Melungeons
were a mixed-lineage, gypsy-like group; it seems feasible they would have lamented
in song their eternal wanderings. Other theorists point out that the burgeoning
African slave population in the American South is known to have given the world
numerous enduring folk and spiritual songs. Was Wayfaring Stranger among their
contributions? For many colonists, struggle, danger and frequent relocation were
realities of life. Wayfaring Stranger spread widely, from worship gatherings to farm
fields to wilderness roads and trails. From Word of Mouth to Publication
Bishop Richard Allen, a freed slave and founder of the A.M.E. Church, is believed
to have been first to publish the lyrics and music in 1816. Variations of the song
subsequently were included in different shape-note collections and hymnals.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TEXT 1. Sung in English
2. For many colonists, struggle, danger and frequent relocation were realities
of life. Alternate Lyrics: Seemingly infinite word substitutions and supplemental
lines and verses have broadened the song during the past 200 years. The simple
poetic structure and straightforward theme make Wayfaring Stranger easy for any
singer to modify. It has been speculated that the number of variations is in the
thousands. One example: I want to wear a crown of glory When I get home
to that good land. I want to sing salvation's story In concert with the bloodwashed band. REF: I'm goin' there to meet my Savior, To sing His praise
forevermore. I'm only goin' over Jordan; I'm only goin' over home. Another:
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. REF: I'm
going there to see my brothers; They said they'd meet me when I come. . .
2. Piano/accompanied
3. open and haunting
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------HARMONY 1. homophonic
2. minor Key
3. supported by simple chord structures
1. Simple and prominant
2. 5 notes - FGACD
3. Pentatonic scale
1. simple
2. mixed meter 4/4 & 3/4 to suggest “wandering”
3. based on melody
1. Verse/Refrain
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TIME SIGNATURE 1. 4/4 & 3/4 - mixed meter
2. Consistant Tempo
3. quarter note = 76-80
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------KEY SIGNATURE 1. d minor
2. one flat
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NOTEWORTHY Among the most often-sung, often-recorded songs of all time is one
of the most poignant. Its lyrics haunt listeners to this day. Since that era, Wayfaring
Stranger has been performed and recorded by countless musicians in diverse
settings: folk, pop, choral, country and both traditional and contemporary gospel. It
has been sung to different melodies. The song was natural for inclusion in the
American folk revival repertoire of the late 1950s and early '60s. The venerated Burl
Ives particularly embraced it, recording it as early as 1944 and making it the title of
both his autobiography and his radio show. The many revival artists to adapt it
included Peter, Paul and Mary; Joan Baez; Pete Seeger; The Limeliters; Doc Watson;
and Gibson and Camp. Mid-'50s pop performers included Tennessee Ernie Ford,
Jo Stafford and Frankie Lane. Among country and bluegrass recorders were Johnny
Cash, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Reed, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass
Boys, and Tony Rice. Latter-day performers who've recorded the song include Eva
Cassidy, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and Anonymous4. European performers
to record Wayfaring Stranger range from Tom Fox of England to Selfmindead of
Sweden. It has been enfolded into Americana-flavored classical compositions and
was recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It also has been included in film
crescendo/decrescendo – gradually get louder, gradually get softer
dynamics – p (piano – soft), mp (mezzo-piano – medium soft), mf (mezzo-forte –
medium loud)
unison – all together on the melody (monophonic)