“Will the Circle Be Unbroken”

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is a song about the hope of seeing your loved ones someday. It is about the Savior and heaven where everyone we love goes to rest until we meet them again. That was supposed to be the message of the song. However, it turned into a song about lamenting for your loved one who died.

The Songwriter

In 1907, Ada R. Habershon wrote the words to the song “Will the Circle be Unbroken” Charles H. Gabriel added music to Habershon’s words. However, in 1953, A.P. Carter made another version of Habershon’s song. He changed the words in the song but maintained the melody. In addition, he changed the title from “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” to “Can the Circle Be Unbroken.” He also added the word Lord in the chorus part of the song.

Lyrics

Habershon’s lyrics

“Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, by and by?

Is a better home awaiting

In the sky, in the sky?”

Carter’s lyrics

“Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, LORD, by and by

There’s a better home a-waiting

In the sky, LORD, in the sky

In the sky, LORD, in the sky”

Different Covers

The Carter Family’s version is the most covered version by artists. Roy Acuff, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many more covered this famous hymn.

The Carter Family’s Version

The Song by the Carter Family is about someone who watches his mother’s dead body be taken away and placed on the ground. The narrator lost his mother, but he still believes that his mother will be home with God.

George Jones’ Cover

The version of the Carter Family was covered by George Jones in 1959. Country Church Time included some songs written by Jones and other traditional hymns such as “We’ll Understand It.” His album did not perform well, and it was not able to enter the Billboard chart. However, his recording of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” was neat, and Jones’ voice gave an excellent recording for this version of the song.

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