Services with Variants

(from Appalachia)

 

I wonder as I wander

Out under the sky

Why Jesus, my Jesus,

Did come down to die

 

For poor on’ry people

Like you and like I

I wonder as I wander

Out under the sky

 

And then the story can begin in

Earnest—the grammar’s bad:

What does that really matter,

 

When the bias is for long and

Almost painful, loving notes

Wrought in the words to send

 

Them over; all the o sounds and

The is like convict souls, once

Held then let go like winged

 

Enchantment, soar above the

Planet in the room, to wave

Like smoke around the beams

 

Above the Sunday evening

Gathering, like convicts bound

Whose chains are broken with

 

No expectation, words and

Notes released like birds once

Wrapped by keepers’ hands—

 

In flight now to know no other

Mission than the erring sky

And song of wonder-wandering

 

 

“I Wonder as I Wander” (Appalachia)

Words and Music collected by John Jacob Niles

Collected by John Jacob Niles in Murphy, [North Carolina,] in July 1933 from a young traveling evangelist Annie Morgan.  According to Niles, he asked her to sing the song repeatedly until he had memorized it. It was published in his 1934 Songs of the Hill-Folk.

http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/i_wonder_as_i_wander.htm

 

and “on’ry” is ornery, which is a good word

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