Wayfarin’ Stranger, Two Parts & piano, SAB & piano

SA or TB, piano, SAB piano

The familiar Appalachian folk hymn with a piano part drawn from jazz traditions. The SA score works very well with TB choirs. The SAB version is now available separately, and is also found in “Songstream 2: An American Journey.” Score sample of the SAB version and recordings of the SA version (Berkshire Choral Artists) and the SAB version (26th Avenue Singers) below.


Reginald Unterseher · Wayfarin’ Stranger, Reginald Unterseher, SA piano


Reginald Unterseher · Wayfaring Stranger, Reginald Unterseher, SAB piano

Print and EPrint versions from JW Pepper

Digital Download two part version from SheetMusicPlus

Digital Download SAB version from SheetMusicPlus


This traditional hymn from the Appalachian mountains expresses the longing to reunite with lost loved ones in an afterlife, even though that means leaving this life. Long a favorite of folk singers, this arrangement draws from jazz rhythms and harmonies, particularly in the piano.

Pianist, really find the off-beat groove, and don’t let it sound like you are trying too hard. Look for your little riffs where you get to really come out of the texture. Find the strength of the left hand part.

At the begnning and at the end, convince the conductor that you can play without being conducted by playing with a lot of expression.


Let the piano part carry the rhythm forward, and have the singers focus on creating the long, arched phrases. All the long notes should have direction and movement rather than sit in one place and wait.

Take your time at the end.


Appalachian Folk Hymn

I’m just a poor wayfarin’ stranger a-travlin’ through this world of woe
But there’s no sickness, toil, nor danger in that bright land to which I go.
I’m goin’ there to see my father, I’m goin’ there no more to roam
I’m only goin’ over Jordan, I’m only goin’ over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beauteous fields lie just before me
Where souls redeemed their vigil keep
I’m goin’ there to see my mother, I’m goin’ there no more to roam
I’m only goin’ over Jordan, I’m only goin’ over home.