I am a poor wayfaring stranger (Going over Jordan)

I am a poor wayfaring stranger (Going over Jordan). Traditional American. There are many congregational songs which contain tropes of ‘wayfarer’, ‘stranger’, ‘traveler/traveling’ or, ‘pilgrim’, while ‘Jordan’ as the symbol for crossing over from this life to the next recurs throughout hymnody (see, for example, ‘On Jordan's stormy banks I stand’*, ‘Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (Redeemer)*, ‘Swing low, sweet chariot’*). This essay draws upon the excellent essay by John Garst (Garst, 1980, pp. 97–101) in The Hymn and more recent research by Richard Hulan* and others in sources available since Garst’s seminal article. Nineteenth-Century Sources Source 1 The earliest printed source (text...

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