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“I’ll Fly Away” from the Movie ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’

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The amazing George Clooney and the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? both entertains us with its wit and amazing soundtrack. It also puts a spotlight on a lot of amazing songs, including “I’ll Fly Away,” a traditional gospel hymn covered by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

The origins of “I’ll Fly Away”

The composer of the song, Albert E. Brumley, was considered as a prolific music composer in the genre of southern gospel. His other hits include “Jesus, Hold My Hand,” “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” and “The Prisoner’s Song.”

According to some interviews, Brumley came up with the idea for “I’ll Fly Away” while picking cotton. It was alleged that while he worked, he was humming the tune for the possible song.

brother, salvation, I'll Fly Away, O Brother Where Art Thou, Brother, Movie, Gospel
via Needpix

“I’ll Fly Away” has been considered as the most recorded gospel song. It has been frequently used in most worship services by Baptists, Pentecostals, Nazarenes, and Methodists. It also appears in many hymnals where it is categorized as a song for eternal life, heaven, and acceptance.

The song reflects on the idea that all of us will go to our Eternal Home with Our Father above once all the trials and tribulations are over. The lyrics are as clear as day when they express our happiness that we’ll finally meet Our Creator.

Brother, I'll Fly Away, O Brother Where Art Thou, Brother, Movie, Gospel
via Alison Krauss’ Official Facebook Page

In the O Brother, Where Art Thou? cover, both Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch received praises for their performance. They performed the song again at the Ryman Auditorium where they featured many of the soundtrack’s artists.

Listen to Alison Krauss’ and Gillian Wench’s amazing vocals in her rendition of “I’ll Fly Away.”

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The breakthrough film is set in Mississippi during the Great Depression. The movie makes a perfect blend of crime and comedy as we join a band of escapists in their cross-country crusade.

I'll Fly Away, O Brother Where Art Thou, Brother, Movie, Gospel

Their soundtrack features a lot of bluegrass, country, gospel, and blues elements that are appropriate for the time period. It became a best-seller and won the 2002 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Krauss and Welch also won Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year award for their performance on the song.

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