ITS A BOP Y’ALL
“I’m a poor wayfaring stranger
While traveling thru this world below
There’s no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I’m going there to see my father
And all my loved ones who’ve gone old
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather around
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise 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
So I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going over home”
Wayfaring Stranger, by Johnny Cash.
Picture: George MacKay in 1917 (2020)
Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra - Wayfaring Stranger
Best cover of this song I’ve ever heard
“He is one of these ghosts.
He leans against a tree and slumps down on the outskirts of the group. The music washes over him.
Dawn is breaking.
He closes his eyes. Done”. - 1917
I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger - Jos Slovick
1917 was enough of a wallop before this came along.
A calm before the storm where everything is peaceful and everything peaceful is racing to an end.
It joins Jenny of Oldstones in battle ballads that make you grateful for the greatest love you’ve ever known.
I’m going there to see my father
And all my loved ones who’ve gone on
The earth was smoking. It was torn up, covered with holes and there was a quiet rumbling sound that constantly filled the air, like the whole planet was breaking apart.
Tony sat in the middle of it, his back leaning against the only tree left standing. It was an old, dead oak, not much more than a black stump and a sea of rotten leaves. Tony didn‘t know how the oak had died. He didn’t know much about life either, come to think of it. All he knew was dust and thunder and fire. And a name. Tony. So that is who he was now.
Tony liked the earth. Deep down. He didn‘t know about that as well. No one ever told Tony what it was like to like something. To go on nice walks at the beach with the water burbling around your bare feet. To lick on some vanilla ice cream while watching seagulls flying past screaming their sorrow into the wind. To break off a piece of chocolate and hear that clear, crunchy cracking noise mixed with the rustling of the wrapping paper.
Earth was abandoned.
They had started arguing and then they had started firing at each other and then, when they had realized that their planet was falling apart from all their fighting and shooting, they‘d moved to the next one.
No one had thought about bringing Tony. And he didn‘t mind.
Sometimes when a breeze blew away the smoke for a bit, he could even see all the silver shining lights in the dark above him. Then he would lie on the ground, his back flat against the steaming rocks and smile up to the sky. It was beautiful.
He knew that word. His mother had been beautiful. He remembered her every time he looked up to the stars. She was the one who had built him. She used to smile all the time. Even when the stars were falling down on them and everything burned. Black, oily tears would stream down her face but she would just look at him and smile. “You‘re my friend, Tony. You‘re not going to leave me like the rest of them, are you?“ So he never left. She did though.
Now the rest, they had died. They‘d needed food to eat and water to drink and air to breathe and when that ran out they stopped moving and fell apart. Sometimes Tony would go and look at their parts, the only thing left from them. They turned out to be white inside and thin and they didn‘t look so different from his mother. But they didn‘t smile. They just stared up to the sky where she had gone.
They‘d come one morning. They‘d seen the bodies and the two robots and they‘d grabbed his mother and then they‘d tried to grab him. But his arm fell off. He didn‘t mind. He could easily stick it back on if he wanted to. But they had. And so they‘d left him, put his mother in a spaceship and flown away to the stars.
Tony didn‘t feel lonely. But he knew his mother had. That was why he existed. So she wouldn‘t be lonely anymore. And now she was gone, and he wasn‘t and Tony didn‘t really mind but it all just was a bit meaningless sometimes.
So when he looked up to the sky and saw the stars, Tony started to smile, just like she had.
1917 (2019), dir. Sam Mendes
As Lance Cpl. Schofield enters the treeline, he witnesses the soldiers of the second battalion all gather around listening to one of the men sing ‘The Wayfaring Stranger’.
It’s a moment of rare peace in a film so frequently fuelled by chaos. You can feel tranquillity wash over you, absorbing the words so beautifully delivered.
As for the song itself, it’s a popular American folk and gospel song which is believed to have come about in the early nineteenth century.
It has been performed by many different artists and singers, and depending on which version you hear, the lyrics themselves will differ.
So, why was it used? Well, at the core of the song is the story of a journey, making it the perfect song to be sung in 1917.
Such musicians as Emmylou Harris and Johnny Cash have covered the song, but the one in the film has swiftly become a favourite.
1917 | Official Trailer 2 Music | Felix Erskine | Vector Studios
HP Lovecraft - “Wayfaring Stranger"
From the album HP Lovecraft
Last song scrobbled from iTunes at Last.fm
THE HADEN TRIPLETS : WAYFARING STRANGER (LYRICS)
Inktober Day 28: The Wayfaring Stranger observes an Enclave vertibird in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Runaway Planet ~ Wayfaring Stranger
Blake holds out his hand to Schofield. Schofield opens his eyes - they are gentle, wise. Schofield grudgingly raises his hand for a lift.
1917 (2019) dir. Sam Mendes