Farther Along (song)

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"Farther Along" is a Southern gospel song published by the Stamps-Baxter Music Company.


The lyrics to the song were written in 1911 by Rev. W. A. Fletcher, an itinerant preacher, while he was traveling to the Indian Territories by train.[citation needed] Fletcher was feeling depressed because his wife, Catherine Louise Emmett Fletcher of Cleburne, Texas, was expecting their first-born child in a few weeks and he wouldn't be present for the occasion. He felt that his priorities were with his ministry in the Indian Territories and wrote the lyrics to reflect his frame of mind at the time.[citation needed] Sitting next to him on the train was J. R. Baxter, a gospel music promoter who was quite taken with the lyrics that Fletcher was writing and offered him $2.00 for them. Mr. Baxter subsequently had them put to music and the song has been quite popular in the gospel music arena ever since.[citation needed]

The song deals with a Christian's dismay at the apparent prosperity of the wicked, when contrasted with the suffering of the righteous. The repeated theme is that, "farther along" (in Heaven, perhaps), the truth will be revealed.

The song was copyrighted in 1937, as part of the Starlit Crown collection,[1] and was renewed in 1965. It is often erroneously thought of as a folk hymn or as being in the Public Domain.[citation needed]

Notable covers[edit]

"Farther Along" has been covered by numerous artists over the years,[2] including The Flying Burrito Brothers, who recorded the song on their 1970 album Burrito Deluxe,[3] The Byrds, who covered it as the title track of their 1971 album Farther Along,[4] and Ike Turner, who rewrote the song as "Father Alone" and did a Grammy nominated[5] solo performance on the Ike & Tina Turner album The Gospel According To Ike & Tina (1974).[6] The song has also been recorded by Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, Pete Seeger, Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Mississippi John Hurt, Bill Anderson, Smoking Popes, Josh Garrels, Brad Paisley and the Million Dollar Quartet among others.[2] In 1987, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris recorded an arrangement by John Starling and Emmylou Harris for the album Trio. In 2009, Ronnie Milsap covered the song on his gospel album, Then Sings My Soul. In 2011, Josh Garrels re-arranged the song for his album Love & War & The Sea In Between.[7]


  1. ^ Mark Roncace, Patrick Gray (2005). Teaching the Bible. Society of Biblical Literature. p. 231. ISBN 1-58983-171-3. 
  2. ^ a b "Farther Along - List of Cover Versions". Allmusic. Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Burrito Deluxe review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  4. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 330. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X. 
  5. ^ Grammy Awards 1975. awardsandshows.com. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
  6. ^ The Gospel According To Ike & Tina. Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
  7. ^ "Farther Along - Josh Garrels". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 

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