A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

Vocal Solo with Piano


This setting of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief was written in 2011 for use in a conference.  I wrote it for performance by two of my most influential musical mentors: my father sang, and my grandfather accompanied him on the piano.

The piece begins with a new tune for James Montgomery’s beloved lyric.  Then the familiar tune by George Coles is introduced as a countermelody.  The last verse is sung over another hymn tune by George Manwaring played on the piano.

A note on the lyrics: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief has seven beautiful verses that tell a moving story.  For congregational singing, I do not endorse omitting any of the verses.  However, while this setting uses only four of the seven verses, it is over five minutes long.  For the sake of practicality, all of the verses could not be included.

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Nathan Howe is a Colorado composer, performer, and teacher. If you enjoy the free music available on this website, please share it with friends, commission a composition, or make a donation. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”

  1. I absolutely love this arrangement and setting. After performing it in sacrament I received numerous comments from people that loved the arrangement and said that it really brought in the Spirit very strongly. Thank you for arranging this and sharing it with the world!

    1. Thanks so much for telling me about your experience performing this piece! I’m glad that you found it useful. If there is a particular musical need I can meet for you in the future, please let me know.

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