Wayfaring Stranger Lyrics
The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "I am a poor wayfaring stranger, while traveling through this world of woe" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Wayfaring Stranger" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.
Wayfaring Stranger Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Wayfaring Stranger" song lyrics date back to the Slave Plantations during between the 1700's and the 1800's. Meaning: This solemn song was sung by slaves that reflected the hardships, struggles and trials in the life of a slave and the promise of a better life on the other side of the Jordan. The song's refrain "I知 only going over Jordan" is a biblical reference to the River Jordan that the Israelites crossed to enter the Promised Land (Joshua 3:1 - 4:24). The "River Jordan" was also used as a secret code name for the Ohio River which was the dividing line between the slave states in the South and the non-slave states in the North. We have placed "Wayfaring Stranger" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.
Wayfaring Stranger Song
Title: Wayfaring Stranger *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals