The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15798   Message #143791
Posted By: bunkerhill
02-Dec-99 - 05:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: I Wonder As I Wander
Subject: RE: I Wonder As I Wander Lyrics, Please!
Ever see the picture of J.J. Niles carrying Doris Ulman across Cutshin Creek? Or some of Ulman's pictures of Niles in "The Appalachian Photos of Doris Ulman." I almost always think of them when I hear "I Wonder As I Wander." The key line, IMHO, is "why Jesus our savior did come for to die." Ulman became ill on a photo-taking mission with Niles in 1932; he rushed her back to New York, where she died. He dutifully completed developing her photos. "I Wonder..." was published same year. Way I got the story (mostly from Ron Penn, director of JJ Niles Center at Univ of Ky) Niles heard Annie Morgan singing a couplet while Ulman was taking pic of her father, a street preacher in Murphy, NC. He paid her a nickel to sing more, but the couplet was all she knew. Niles completed the song, passed it off for years as collected, then owned up to having written it after learning he could make some money as the author. Seems to me, Sandy, that this song's in season whenever we have to wonder why somebody had to die.