A Suite of Hymns: Wayfaring Stranger

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storm-clouds.jpg

A Suite of Hymns: Wayfaring Stranger

3.35

two voices (or) two voices and cello

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  • Premiere: 21 June 2009 / The Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy / The Phoenix Concerts / Seraphim (Gilda Lyons, Elaine Valby, voice; Robert La Rue, cello)
  • Instrumentation: two voices (or) two voices and cello
  • Duration: 2'
  • Text: Traditional

Program Note

Idumea Praetorius/Watts (16th/18th century)

Wayfaring Stranger traditional (19th century)

Angel Band Bradbury/Haskell (19th century)

In summer 2006, upon my arrival at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, I allowed myself the great indulgence of spending my first week in residence working through a stack of hymns with which I had been trying to spend time.  Some new to me, some old favorites, I sang through, read, copied and explored dozens of pieces, landing on a handful that have remained close since; these three are among those that have remained closest.   These arrangements are dedicated to the memory of Jeff Milano-Johnson, and to those whose lives he changed forever: family, friend, and wayfaring stranger.

Text

Wayfaring Stranger

I am a poor wayfaring stranger,

While journeying 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.

I'm only going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o'er me,

I know my way is rough and steep;

Yet, beaut'ous fields lie just before me,

Where God's redeemed their vigils keep.

I'm going there to see my Mother,

She said she'd meet me when I come;

I'm only going over Jordan,

I'm only going over home.

I'm only going over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory,

When I get home to that good land;

I want to shout salvation's story,

In concert with the blood-washed band.

I'm going there to meet my Savior,

To sing His praise forevermore;

I'm only going over Jordan,

I'm only going over home.

I'm only going over home.

text: Bever's Christian Songster (1858)

melody: traditional, arr. John M. Dye (1935)

arrangement: Gilda Lyons (2006)