I Wonder As I Wander


play mp3 sample: I Wonder as I Wander

a cappella SATB – words & music by John Jacob Niles – arr. Peter Amidon

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      I wonder as I wander - Starry Mountain Singers

Sung here by the Starry Mountain Singers, Cora Kelly soloist.  This was arranged for the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC Choir. Composer, singer and collector John Jacob Niles learned fragments of melody and text of a Christmas carol from a young girl in North Carolina in 1933 and added and improvised it into this classic. John Jacob Niles had an eccentric and dramatic singing style as you can hear below.


I Wonder As I Wander
by John Jacob Niles

I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die,
For poor orn’ry people like you and like I,
I wonder as I wander, … out under the sky;

When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all,
And high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of the ages, … they then did recall;

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heaven to sing,
He surely could’ve had it, ’cause he was the King