Sung by: Dwane Richardson
Recorded in Mountain View, AR 4/19/63

Click here to listen to the original recording

I once had a fortune and a place of abode,
But I gave it away for the wilderness road.

When I couldn’t pay all the debts that I owed,
I started to traveling on the wilderness road.

High over the mountains, through beautiful dales,
I counted the cabins on the buffalo trails.

I crossed the Kentucky and the Tennessee,
Crossed the big muddy and the lone prairie.

Chorus: On the wilderness road, on the wilderness road,
I’ve been a-traveling a long, long time on the wilderness road.

I know all the people way back in the hills.
I’ve prayed in their graveyards; I’ve drunk at their stills.

I’ve heard all their blessings; I’ve heard all their wrongs,
And their wonderful stories and their beautiful songs.

They planted their gardens by the beautiful stream,
And they planted their fathers in the land of their dreams.

With a pure inspiration they carried their load,
And they planted a nation on the wilderness road.


If I was a rich man, I’d pay what I owe,
And I’d build me a mansion on the wilderness road.

But I’m not a rich man, and I guess you know
I’ll keep on a-traveling on the wilderness road.


All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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