Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel —> A.P. Carter: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?””

Posted: January 11, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – The Carter Family
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Mike Farris vs. Ken Parker
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? is a popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The song pertains to loved ones now departed and the hopeful reunion with them in an afterlife. It is generally played to be uplifting to the congregation, and is a frequent standard in gospel revivals. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? was first recorded in 1912 by William McEwan.

In 1935, A.P. Carter, founder of “The Carter Family”, revised and added to the lyrics of Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, reworking it into a song concerning the death, funeral, and mourning of the narrator’s mother. Carter named his revised version Can the Circle Be Unbroken?. As others later covered his song, Carter’s revised version subsequently became most often referred to by its original name, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?. The version of the song most often played today is Carter’s but under the title of Will the Circle Be Unbroken?.

The Original

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The Carter Family:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Mike Farris vs. Ken Parker

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Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue featuring the McCrary Sisters:

Ken Parker:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Comments
  1. Kerry Black says:

    I didn’t know who Mike Farris was, but I just read his mini-bio on Allmusic.

    Your list of “Music Genres” on the left side of the page dudden even list “Country”. Nice first step in the rectification process, Dubbs.

  2. RDubbs says:

    I like this song. Despite its origin and initial intent, I find it to be more spiritual than religious. And I think both artists produced fine results. I’m going with Mike Farris in a very close call.

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