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  #1  
Old 06-01-2021, 10:20 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Default Wayfaring Stranger (traditional)



This is my original arrangement of the old folk song "Wayfaring Stranger" first published in the USA in 1858. This song became fairly well known during the American Civil War (1861-1865) with all the suffering that war brings.

Johnny Cash played this song in Am as I am doing, though I have put the capo on the 3rd fret to bring the key up to Cm. In its simplest form the verses to this song are played using Am, Dm and E. The refrain uses F, C, E and then returns to the verse chords. THIS is a reasonable arrangement of chords and lyrics, though I used mostly lyrics that were consistent with the 1858 words.

I was looking for chordal movement in this song to give the sense of walking. My finger picking pattern has a finger pluck on each of the 4 beats in every measure. Also, I came up with the chord progression you see in my video: Am7, Dadd4/A, Am7, E7 and then repeat until you get to the Dm and E chords. I would be glad to do a tutorial on this if anyone is interested. The Dadd4/A sounds like a horrible chord but it's just an Am7 shape moved up on the fretboard two half steps. The open B string and A string give it it's unusual sound.

For the refrain I played Fmaj7 instead of a straight F and I used Cadd9 (an added D note, 2nd string 3rd fret to a straight C chord) to add color.

I also took a great deal of liberties with the melody after I got through the first verse.

Thanks for listening! The guitar is a 2006 Martin model 000-28VS.

- Glenn
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2021, 10:30 AM
emtsteve emtsteve is offline
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Very nice, as always Glenn. Thanks for sharing.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2021, 10:32 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Originally Posted by emtsteve View Post
Very nice, as always Glenn. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Steve!

I appreciate your taking time to watch and comment!

I hope all is well for you!

- Glenn
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Old 06-01-2021, 10:50 AM
Stevien Stevien is offline
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Well done, Glenn! I do a version of this one as well. Thanks for adding a little history on this one. I have no evidence to back it, but I believe it to be a negro- spiritual song of that era, dealing with the burden of slavery & persecution, more than the pains of war. The original lyrics indicate this. (ie, a stranger in my own land) This song is a treasure & an integral part of early American history! However the juxtaposition of temporary agony vs eternal hope is universal to all humanity! Well done!
Steve
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Last edited by Stevien; 06-01-2021 at 11:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2021, 12:02 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Originally Posted by Stevien View Post
Well done, Glenn! I do a version of this one as well. Thanks for adding a little history on this one. I have no evidence to back it, but I believe it to be a negro- spiritual song of that era, dealing with the burden of slavery & persecution, more than the pains of war. The original lyrics indicate this. (ie, a stranger in my own land) This song is a treasure & an integral part of early American history! However the juxtaposition of temporary agony vs eternal hope is universal to all humanity! Well done!
Steve
Hi Steve!

Thanks so much for watching and for your comments.

Yes, it really does sound like the song came from the slaves. It really does have a "spiritual" sound to it and the history of the song places it's origins at about the right time in American history.

From Wikipedia:

"According to the book The Makers of the Sacred Harp, by David Warren Steel and Richard H. Hulan, the lyrics were published in 1858 in Joseph Bever's Christian Songster, which was a collection of popular hymns and spiritual songs of the time. This may or may not have been the first time the song appeared in English print, and the songwriter is unknown. Steel and Hulan suggest the song was derived from an 1816 German-language hymn, "Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden" by Isaac Niswander.

During and for several years after the American Civil War, the lyrics were known as the Libby Prison Hymn. This was because the words had been inscribed by a dying Union soldier incarcerated in Libby Prison, a warehouse converted to a notorious Confederate prison in Richmond, Virginia known for its adverse conditions and high death rate. It had been believed that the dying soldier had authored the song to comfort a disabled soldier, but this was not the case since it had been published several years before the Civil War in 1858, before Libby Prison was put into service (1862)."

Thanks again Steve!

- Glenn
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:21 PM
airborne1 airborne1 is offline
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Great job Glenn!

Nicely done on a beautiful guitar!

I, for one, would be interested in a tutorial if you care to take the time and effort.

Hope all is well with you, and thanks for sharing!

Bill
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:54 PM
Gerhard Gschossmann Gerhard Gschossmann is offline
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Hi Glenn,

this is a nice recording..... and I really admire that you always have your guitars sound perfect.....

greetings from Germany
Gerhard
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Old 06-01-2021, 03:27 PM
Rogerblair Rogerblair is offline
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Nice job Glenn. That guitar is a monster for sure...sounds great.

The chord voicings really give the song a dark quality, suggesting strife and struggle to me. Interesting approach.

Thanks for posting.
Roger
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:05 PM
Aimelie Aimelie is offline
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I really loved this. What playing and what a voice!

I started listening with a set of headphones, but finished on the widescreen and full stereo hifi with my husband beside me.
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Old 06-01-2021, 05:18 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airborne1 View Post
Great job Glenn!

Nicely done on a beautiful guitar!

I, for one, would be interested in a tutorial if you care to take the time and effort.

Hope all is well with you, and thanks for sharing!

Bill
Hi Bill!

Thanks for watching and for your thoughts and comments!

It is a beautiful guitar; the Martin 000-28VS is a vintage series guitar and a 12-fret-to-the-body design. It has a really nice sound, very mellow, with substantial bass. This particular design is reminiscent of Martin orchestra models from the 1930s.

I will put a tutorial together on this. Thanks for the feedback, Bill.

I am doing well! I hope you are, too! I'm looking forward to the summer after what seemed like a long winter!

Take care Bill!

- Glenn
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2021, 05:26 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard Gschossmann View Post
Hi Glenn,

this is a nice recording..... and I really admire that you always have your guitars sound perfect.....

greetings from Germany
Gerhard
Thank you Gerhard!

Very kind of you to take time to watch and comment! I do my best to make my guitars sound good, but I know you do, too!

I know I am very fortunate to have a group of nice guitars, good recording equipment, and a good recording space to record in. And really, I am very fortunate to still be able to play the guitar considering my osteoarthritis issues.

Thank you so much for your kind comments, Gerhard! I hope all is well for you! I am doing great!

- Glenn
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2021, 05:40 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerblair View Post
Nice job Glenn. That guitar is a monster for sure...sounds great.

The chord voicings really give the song a dark quality, suggesting strife and struggle to me. Interesting approach.

Thanks for posting.
Roger
Hi Roger!

Thanks for your thoughts and comments!

I guess I have always thought that this song was fairly dark sounding anyway, since most of the chords are minor ones -- Am, Dm. I was looking for a way to make this song sound more interesting, with more internal, chordal movement, while still being accessible to a newer guitar player. While it may sound difficult, it's really not.

And I suppose the idea of our wayfaring stranger walking off to the afterlife has some darker overtones as well as some hopeful overtones, as well. The lyrics do talk about strife and struggle ...

Regarding the Martin 000-28VS, I have used this guitar for a fair number of recordings, and I think it has really good sound. Also, while this song sounded great on my Martin D-45, I didn't think this guitar fit into the "poor, wayfaring stranger" motif!

Thank you for your thoughts and comments, Roger! I hope you have a great summer!

- Glenn
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2021, 05:44 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimelie View Post
I really loved this. What playing and what a voice!

I started listening with a set of headphones, but finished on the widescreen and full stereo hifi with my husband beside me.
Hi Aimelie!

Thank you for your kind comments! I am really pleased to know that you thought this came out well!

I, too, love to pull up YouTube videos I enjoy on a large flat screen TV using our big stereo system to watch and listen. It's fun entertainment! I am so pleased I was able to take a peak into your home! And how nice that you could share this with your husband! Very cool!

I hope all is well for you Aimelie! Be well!

- Glenn
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2021, 07:34 PM
chuckv97 chuckv97 is offline
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Very nice & enjoyable.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2021, 08:43 PM
cedartop52 cedartop52 is offline
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Your arrangement is magnificent and your adaptation of the melody is expressive and powerful...I say 'homerun!' Thanks for sharing that...Dan
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