Poor Wayfaring Stranger

Verse 1

I am a poor wayfaring stranger.
I am a slayer and a thief.
My road was laid with toil and danger,
My table spread with woe and grief.

I’m going now to meet my father.
He taught me how to drink and fight.
I’m only going to my darkness;
I only go to meet the night.

Verse 2

The ravens come to be my suitors.
The crowd has come to spit on me.
And now my savior comes before me
To hang me on the gallows-tree.

I’m going now to see my mother,
But will I know her then? I cannot say.
I’m only going to my darkness;
I only go far from this place.

Verse 3

O hangman, come! I do not fear you.
You’ll see no tear fall from mine eye,
For now I laugh at all my sorrows
And I am not afraid to die.

I’m going now to meet my lover,
The one I dreamt of, though we never met,
And when the earth be shoveled over,
Tis in her arms may I forget.

George Chadderdon (2011 version of Traditional folk song; original lyrics)