Classic gospel songs such as “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Blessed Assurance,” among others are concrete proof that good old tunes don’t just die. Their impact on the listeners is that great, and it thrives through the years. Thanks to the numerous artists who unselfishly shared their talents in order to preserve these songs by continuously delighting the audience with their remarkable recordings. Aside from the three songs mentioned earlier, here’s another classic hymn that has been covered by various singers numerous times. Entitled “Farther Along,” this Southern American gospel was first known to the public in the early 19th century. Its first known recording was in the 1930s and since then, the song regularly appeared on the albums of different artists.
Elvis Presley’s Version
The King of Rock and Roll was among the first artists to cover the song “Farther Along.” He recorded his version in 1966 and later released it on his album How Great Thou Art. Similar to his other recordings of gospel songs, “Farther Along” exudes Presley’s heartfelt singing style. The soothing feel there is in his performance is truly irresistible. Moreover, he was able to maintain the solemnity of the song with his emotion-filled, and slow-paced delivery.
Listen to Elvis Presley’s rendition of the song below.
Brief Song Background
The authorship of “Farther Along” has been a huge dispute for a long time. Its lyrics first appeared in the hymnal Select Hymns for Christian Worship and General Gospel Service. The publication took place in 1911. The song was attributed to one of its editors Barney Elliot Warren with the text “Arr. B. E. W.” It was in 1937 when J.R. Baxter, Jr. wrote a melody for the song. The Stamps-Baxter Music Company then added the song to their collection Starlit Crown. The Burnette Sisters held the credit for being the first to record the song. Williams B. Stevens happened to hear this performance on the radio and would claim to be the author of the song’s lyrics. Stevens was a Church of God preacher. However, there are at least three other men who were being cited as the original authors of the song. They were Rev. W. A. Fletcher from Oklahoma, W. P. Jay, a preacher for the Church of the Nazarene born in Arkansas, and a not better identified W. E. Lindsay.
“Farther Along” has a very timely theme. The dominance of the wicked as against the suffering of the righteous is becoming prevalent. This subsequently upsets the Christians. However, the song serves to uplift the spirit of anyone as it offers an assurance that “farther along” (in Heaven, perhaps), the truth will be revealed.”
Farther along we’ll know more about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all by and by
Barney Elliot Warren, Elvis Presley, Farther Along, Williams B. Stevens
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