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I'LL FLY AWAY

(Albert E. Brumley)

Carolyn Hester & Bob Dylan, Sep 29, 1961


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Recorded by Carolyn Hester with Bruce Langhorne, guitar & fiddle, William E. Lee, bass, Bob Dylan, harmonica, at Columbia Studios, New York, NY, Sep 29 1961
(CO68307, two takes), released on "Carolyn Hester."


ALBERT E. BRUMLEY:

I was picking cotton on my father's farm and was humming the old ballad that went like this: "If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly" and suddenly it dawned on me that I could use this plot for a gospel-type song.

About three years later, I finally developed the plot, titled it "I'll Fly Away," and it was published in 1932 [in "Wonderful Message," Hartford Music Co.].

Those familiar with the song will note that I paraphrased one line of the old ballad to read "Like a bird from prison bars have [has] flown." When I wrote it, I had no idea that it would become so unversally popular.

Letter to Dorothy Horstman, Jan 10, 1973; reprinted in Dorothy Horstman, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, New York, 1976, p. 51.


LYRICS AS REPRINTED IN "ALBERT E. BRUMLEY'S OLDE CAMP MEETIN' SONGS,"
Camdenton, Missouri, 1971, p. 11;
© 1932, renewed 1960 Albert E. Brumley and Sons.


Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away.
CHORUS:
I'll fly away, O glory,
I'll fly away;
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have grown,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joys shall never end,
I'll fly away.


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