I grew up in a family full of wayfarin strangers. Gnarled old men who I didn’t know but should have – because Pa said they were kin – sang the words with such strength of conviction that I always saw the story as their own.
A cousin even adopted it as his anthem when we were seven. When I questioned any right he had to claim the lyrics, he set me straight. “I’m an old soul,” he said. “Destined to walk this world alone.”
So far…he isn’t wrong.
Steve and I were talking about it a few weeks back. The song. Not the cousin. And I’ve been waiting to post it ever since. Now seems just as good a time as any. Have a read. Then hunt down Jack White’s rendition…and have a listen.
I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling thru this world of woe
Yet there’s no sickness, toil, or danger
In that bright world 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 know dark clouds will hang around me,
I know my way is rough and steep
Yet beauteous fields lie just before me
Where God’s redeemed their virgils keep
I’m going there to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home
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.
I’m going there to see my brothers;
they said they’d meet me when I come.
I’m only goin’ over Jordan.
I’m only goin’ over home.