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The Lone Pilgrim

[ Roud 2841 ; Ballad Index R619 ; B.F. White (1800-79)]

This Sacred Harp song was composed by B.F. White (who also wrote Morning Trumpet). The Watson Family of North Carolina sang it in 1963 on their Folkways album The Doc Watson Family. Peter Bellamy learnt the song from them and recorded it for his privately issued cassette of 1983, Fair Annie: English, Irish, Australian and American Traditional Songs.

Anna & Elizabeth sang Lone Pilgrim in 2012 on their CD Sun to Sun, “a version particularly inspired by Addie [Graham] and her distinctive choice of notes”.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings The Lone Pilgrim

I came to the place where the lone pilgrim lay
And pensively stood by his tomb,
When in a low whisper I heard something say,
How sweetly I sleep here alone.

The tempest may howl and the loud thunder roar,
And the gathering storms may arise,
But calm are my feelings, at ease is my soul.
The tears are all wiped from my eyes.

'Twas the cause of my Master compelled me from home,
I bade my companions farewell.
I kissed my dear children who for me now mourn
In regions far distant they dwell.

I wandered in exile and far from my home,
No kindred or relative nigh;
I met the contagion and sank to the tomb,
My soul flew to mansions on high.

So tell my companion and children most dear
To weep not for me now I'm gone;
For the same hand that led me through scenes most severe,
Has kindly assisted me home.