Behind the Hymn: I’m Just a Wayfaring Stranger

                Recently, I was discussing the hymn I’m Just a Wayfaring Stranger with my grandmother, who remembered singing the song when she was a youngster.

What are you dreaming of?

                The song is a folk song which is believed to have originated sometime in the early 19th Century.

                The lyrics share the journey of an individual on life’s journey, who dreams of better times with their family in the afterlife.

                The song is believed to have first gained popularity with Appalachian revivalists before slowly spreading westward with the pioneers.

                As with many folk songs, the lyrics are often varied and many variations exist.

What do you wish were better?

                The song was voted as one of the top 100 Western Songs of all time by the Western Writers of America.

                The song became a signature song for Burl Ives, who used it as the title for his 1940s radio show, as well as the title for his autobiography.

                Other artist to cover the song include Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Ed Sheeran, Glen Campbell, Alison Krauss, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Natlie Merchant to name just a few.

                What do you dream of?

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