The Wayfaring Stranger (song)

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"The Wayfaring Stranger" (also known as "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" or "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger"), Roud 3339, is a well-known American folk and gospel song likely originating in the early 19th century[1] about a plaintive soul on the journey through life. As with most folk songs, many variations of the lyrics exist.

It has been speculated that "Wayfaring Stranger" may have been derived from "The Dowie Dens of Yarrow," a folk song from the Scottish Borders.[2] However, the fact that the two songs differ entirely in subject matter calls the theory into doubt.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

Notable covers and uses[edit]


  1. ^ Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer. Folk Songs of the Catskills. SUNY Press, 1982. 292-294. ISBN 0-87395-581-1
  2. ^ Rob Adams. "Phil Cunningham on how Scots migrants created American music". Herald Scotland.
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Emmylou Harris - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for August 23, 1980". RPM. Retrieved June 24, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]