FiddleSticks - with Lisa Arrington


Hymns and Songs of the Mormon Pioneers

Expanded Liner Notes and Lyrics

In these expanded liner notes we want to tell you a little of the history behind the hymns and songs on the this album, and also provide the lyrics. Click on the title of the track to jump down to the detailed histories of each of the tunes on the album.

You can link to our website, for even more information about FiddleSticks, including our other recordings. And at the bottom of the page you can find some genealogical notes about our Mormon Pioneer roots.

(Click on the tune name to go to the liner notes)

1 Now My Dear Companions

2 O My Father
3 Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
4 The Handcart Song
5 Paddy Fahy's Jig
6 The Humble Heart
7 Love is Little
8 Lead Kindly Light
9 Hickory Sticks
10 Lonesome Roving Wolves
11 A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
12 This Earth Was Once a Garden Place
13 Love is Little Reel
14 The Unknown Grave
15 Farewell to Nauvoo
16 Poor Wayfaring Stranger
17 Margaret Young Boyle Sings the Handcart Song

: Three more songs by Lisa Arrington, the full 13-stanza version of Margaret Boyle's recording of the Handcart Song, some FiddleSticks instrumentals, and recording outtakes are included as MP3 files on this CD, together with expanded liner notes and lyrics. Access them on your computer CD drive by opening the Bonus Files.

B1 Margaret Boyle's Full Version of the Handcart Song

B2 Lord of the Dance/Gift to be Simple (Lisa with FiddleSticks)
B3 There Is a Land of Pleasure (Lisa Arrington)
B4 The Saviour's Universal Prayer (Lisa Arrington)
B5 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Pickin' the Devil's Eye
B6 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Bonaparte's Retreat
B7 Outtakes (The Steve Lerud Blues)

Davis Family Pioneer Ancestors

Information about Artwork and Images


First, a word about the direct ancestor of this collection. In 1992, Lisa Arrington recorded and released a cassette tape recording called "Hidden Treasures," which contained many of the tunes included on "Farewell to Nauvoo." We bought a copy of "Hidden Treasures" at a Sunstone Symposium when we were living in Maryland, and Lisa's recording spent many hours in our home and car tape players. After we moved in Utah in 1996, we got to know Lisa and her family and enjoyed hearing Lisa play and sing her tunes in person. We often casually said that we should collaborate on a recording someday.

Finally, many years later, someday has arrived. While we were in the studio in early 2006 mixing our " Ampersand " CD, we noticed that Steve Lerud, our recording engineer, was making one-off CD copies of Lisa's "Hidden Treasures" for her. Her tape had sold out and anyway everybody had replaced their cassette players with CDs. We got a CD and loved hearing the tunes again, and that was enough of a catalyst to get us and Lisa working seriously towards this recording. The only hitch was that by the time we got the project in motion, Katie was just a few weeks from leaving for her missionary service in South Africa -- so we got her into the studio and put the fiddle (and viola) parts down first, and then over the next months, built up the rest of the arrangements.

"Farewell to Nauvoo" includes nine of the twelve tunes Lisa arranged for "Hidden Treasures," plus seven more tunes. We have stayed true to Lisa's essential arrangements, with the addition of just enough fiddle, cello, bodhran, flute, and guitar to give the album a FiddleSticks feel. The three hymns from "Hidden Treasures" that are not on the main "Farewell to Nauvoo" CD are included as a bonus MP3 file on the disc. (These hymns are Lord of the Dance , There is a Land of Pleasure , and The Saviour's Universal Prayer (a Shaker version of The Lord's Prayer.)

Many of the tunes on this CD are tunes FiddleSticks has played for years and even recorded before with different arrangements, and it has been a pleasure to work with Lisa and enjoy her interesting and sensitive arrangements. Best of all, Lisa is a storyteller. We love hearing these lovely old hymns and songs through her colorful and personal vocal perspective. She doesn't just sing the songs - somehow with her singing she tells the stories in a way that brings to life the people we call the Mormon Pioneers.

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Words: James Montgomery (1771-1854); Music: George Coles (1792-1858)

While the hymn is widely considered an American hymn, the words were actually written by James Montgomery, one of England's most prolific hymn-writers, with more than 400 hymns and poems to his credit. He was born in Scotland in 1771, and lived most of his life in Yorkshire, in the north of England. He died in 1854 in Sheffield. Montgomery's other works may be found at

The music traditionally played with this hymn is called "Man of Grief," a tune written by George Coles (1792-1858). However, Coles wrote another tune, "Duane Street," which was also commonly used with this hymn text. The Duane Street tune appeared with this hymn in the original 1844 edition of the famous shape-note hymn book, "Sacred Harp," compiled by Benjamin F. White. Duane Street is the tune we have used for this recording. Coles was born in England, became a preacher at age 22, and then emigrated to American when he was 26 in 1818.

While we like the "Duane Street" melody better, it is quite clear that the "Man of Grief" version was the tune used most often for this hymn in Nauvoo and by most of the Mormon pioneers thereafter. It appears in the 1844 "Bellows Falls" LDS hymnal with the "Man of Grief" melody. (The Bellows Falls hymnal was an unofficial hymnal published by church members J. C. Little and G. B. Gardner, formally called "A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Use of The Latter Day Saints" in Bellows Falls, Vermont, which contained 48 hymns, 31 with musical notation.) John Taylor made a point, when he sang it later in life to the "Man of Grief" melody, to state that he sang it just as it had been sung in Nauvoo.

However, the Duane Street version was also popular in Mormon congregations in Utah for many years. That is the tune we have used for this recording.

This hymn is tied to the end of the Nauvoo period because of its association with the murder of Joseph Smith. In prison in Carthage Illinois awaiting trial for having ordered the destruction of an anti-Mormon newspaper, Joseph Smith was visited by John Taylor and some other friends. To raise his spirits, it is said, Joseph asked brother Taylor to sing this hymn, all seven verses, and then to sing it again. John Taylor wrote about it with these words: At Joseph's request,

"I sang a song, that had lately been introduced into Nauvoo, entitled, 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.' The song is pathetic, and the tune quite plaintive, and was very much in accordance with our feelings at the time, for our spirits were all depressed, dull, and gloomy, and surcharged with indefinite ominous forebodings. After a lapse of some time, Brother Hyrum requested me again to sing that song. I replied, 'Brother Hyrum, I do not feel like singing;' when he remarked, 'Oh, never mind; commence singing, and you will get the spirit of it.' At his request I did so."

Soon afterwards, an armed mob attacked the prison, and shot Joseph and his brother Hyrum to death. The singer, John Taylor, survived when the bullet that hit him struck his pocketwatch.

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not power to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff'rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o'er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest;
Then made the earth my bed, and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.

Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment--he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris'n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in His hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name He named,
"Of Me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me."

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Words: Robert Robinson (1735-1790); Music: John Wyeth (1770-1858)

This is one of our most favorite hymns, and was very popular among the Mormon pioneers. Its removal in the 1985 edition of the Mormon hymnbook was a mistake that will have to be corrected in the next edition. Let's hope that's not too long in coming. We recorded this hymn before, on our "Return to Nauvoo" CD in an upbeat, energetic style. But we really like Lisa's unaccompanied vocal version, which so well reflects the simple majesty of this hymn.

Robert Robinson started life as an apprentice barber, but eventually became a controversial Baptist preacher in England. This hymn was written relatively early in his career, and while he enjoyed several years of stormy popularity, personal problems subsequently overtook him. According to one story Robinson encountered a woman who was studying a hymnal, singing aloud "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." He supposedly replied, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then."

John Wyeth is often listed as the composer, but in fact he was probably just the editor and compiler of hymn tunes. Wyeth was a publisher (and also the postmaster general under George Washington) who printed a hymn collection called Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music in 1813 which included this tune, but there's no real indication that Wyeth himself composed it. The tune used for Come Thou Fount is called "Nettleton" - suggesting maybe that the real composer might be the evangelical minister Asahel Nettleton, himself a hymn writer and compiler, who was very active in the revivalist movement in New York and New England in the early 1800s at the time of Joseph Smith's early religious experiences. (But there's no evidence for that, except the similarity of the names.)


Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I've come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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Words: Lucretia Hupper (1818-1915); Music: Liz Davis (b. 1986)

Lucretia Hupper was a young woman of 22 years when she heard the Mormons preaching in her hometown in Maine. She believed what she heard and joined the gathering in Nauvoo. She kept an extensive diary, and composed verse to reflect significant events in her life, such as her conversion to Mormonism. When a few years later she and the other Mormons were driven out of their homes, she again wrote a poem, which she titled Farewell to Nauvoo. We revised the words just a little for our recorded version. See for Lucretia's life history.

Liz Davis, our cellist, composed the melody for this song in the style of an American folk hymn. We think the words and melody work well together, conveying both the sadness of loss and the hope for the future that must have been common emotions for the early pioneers. We provide here first the lyrics as we have adapted them for this recording, and below give the full text of the poem.

LYRICS (As recorded):
Return to Nauvoo

Farewell, dearest city, farewell for a time,
We are called now to leave for a far distant clime.
Fair city of Joseph, we bid you adieu,
Farewell for a season, Farewell to Nauvoo.

Farewell to the temple, where oft we have heard
The precept of life and salvation declared.
Dear House of our God, thy memory we love;
Although to a far distant country we move.

Adieu to the place where the Prophet once stood,
And boldly declared the whole council of God.
Farewell to Nauvoo, in the desert we roam,
And seek in the far western forest a home.

Then flee from Nauvoo now, you saints of our God
And spread forth the kingdom of Heaven abroad;
That Zion may rise in her beauty and shine,
With beams of salvation and glory divine.

(Full text, from diary of Lucretia Hupper)

Farewell, dearest city, farewell for a time,
We're now called to leave thee for a distant clime.
Fair city of Joseph, we bid you adieu,
Farewell for a season, our own loved Nauvoo.

Adieu to the spot where the Prophet once stood,
And boldly declared the whole council of God.
Before the rude hand of a blood-thirsty mob,
Forced him from our midst to a peaceful abode.

Farewell to the temple, where oft we have heard
The precept of life and salvation declared.
Dear House of our God, we thy memory will love;
Although in a far distant country we move.

Adieu to the friends of our childhood and youth,
For they have rejected both us and the truth;
Therefore we will leave them in darkness to roam,
And seek in the far western forest a home.

Adieu to the states that have given us birth,
Our own native country, the proudest on earth.
The soil is bedewed with the innocent blood
Of Joseph and Hyrum, the prophets of God.

Then flee from these states, you saints of the Lord
And spread forth the kingdom of Heaven abroad;
That Zion may rise in her beauty and shine,
With beams of salvation and glory divine.

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Words and music: John Daniel Thompson McAllister (1827-1910)

J.D.T. McAllister joined the Mormon church in Philadelphia in 1844 when he was 17. In July 1847, when the first Mormon pioneers were arriving in Utah, he married Ellen Handley in Pennsylvania at the age of 20. In 1851 he and his family made the journey to Utah, by wagon train - not by handcart. He played the cornet in one of the first music groups in Salt Lake City, "Captain Domenico Ballo's brass band," which provided the music for the groundbreaking of the Salt Lake Temple in 1853. In his diary he wrote that "the musicians formed in a circle and gave a cheering strain to 'Auld Lang Syne.' Soon after that he left on a 3-year mission to England and on the way delivered a carved block of stone for the Washington Monument to Washington D.C., inscribed with "State of Deseret" and "Holiness to the Lord." .

In 1856 while he was a missionary in England he wrote the "Handcart Song." It is addressed to those European converts who were contemplating the difficult journey to Utah, encouraging them and reflecting the hope and persistence of those handcart pioneers. His return from his first mission in 1856 put him on the Mormon Trail at the same time the first handcart pioneers were making the journey. He served another mission to the British Isles in 1860, and on his return from England in 1862 he brought a large company of emigrants overland to Utah.

Read more about J.D.T. McAllister at

Ten companies of handcart pioneers, mostly Mormon converts from Europe, walked the 1,300 miles from Iowa City (the end of the rail line) to Salt Lake City between 1856 and 1860, pulling and pushing all that they owned. Of the total of 2,962 handcart immigrants, about 250 died along the way, 220 of them in the Willie and Martin companies of 1856. They couldn't afford wagons after leaving their homeland, so they pulled human-powered handcarts. A handcart could only hold 500 pounds of provisions and possessions, so adults were allowed only 17 pounds of clothing and bedding, children 10 pounds. We had some ancestors who traveled the plains with the Willie and Martin companies and shared their fate. ( See below ). A pretty good overview of the handcart movement can be found at


While we really like Lisa's arrangement of this song, our favorite rendition of the Handcart Song was sung and recorded in 1951 by an actual Mormon pioneer named Margaret Graham Young Boyle. Margaret was born in 1854 in Kirkintilloch, Scotland and immigrated with to Utah with her parents and 12 siblings in about 1872. (Actually there's a little question about her year of birth: she says on the recording that she was born in 1854, but her pedigree at says it was 1855, and her Salt Lake obituary made it 1853.) Margaret's recording of the Handcart Song was made by Utah folklorist Lester A. Hubbard. As she says on the recording, Margaret was 97 years old when she recorded this song; she died in July 1952 just a few months after making the recording. The recording is now in the University of Utah library special collections archives, and we have included it on this collection with their permission. We thank Hal Cannon, founder of the Western Folklife Center , for having converted Margaret Boyle's Handcart Song recording from the acetate tape version in the archives and providing us with the digital copy.

By the way, if the lyrics seem unfamiliar, it's because McAllister's text was changed and a new different verse was added by Lucile Cardon Reading (1909-1982) when it was turned into a children's song (now contained at page 220 of in the Primary Children's Songbook).

The Handcart Song

Here are the lyrics as written by J.D.T. McAllister:

Ye saints who dwell on Europe's shore,
Prepare yourselves for many more
To leave behind your native land,
For sure God's judgments are at hand.
For you must cross the raging main
Before the promised land you gain,
And with the faithful make a start
To cross the plains with your handcart.

For some must push and some must pull
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on the way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o!

As on the roads the carts were pull'd,
'Twould very much surprise the world
To see the old and feeble dame
Thus lend a hand to pull the same!
And maidens fair will dance and sing,
Young men more happy than a king,
And children too will laugh and play;
Their strength increasing day by day.


And long before the valley's gained,
We will be met upon the plains
With music sweet and friends so dear
And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer.
And then with music and with song
How cheerfully we'll march along
And thank the day we made a start
To cross the plains with our handcart.


And just because we so love how she sings this song, here are the full lyrics as sung by Margaret Young Boyle. You can see some changes to some words and a few extra "folk" verses were added as the years went by. We shortened Margaret's song a little on the CD (including just stanzas 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, and 11). We've also transcribed her commentary together with the lyrics, in case you have difficulty understanding the brogue. You can hear the full version of her Handcart Song in the " Bonus Files " section of this disc (put it in your computer CD player and look for the MP3 files.)

The Handcart Song
As sung by Margaret Young Boyle

Oh, my name: Margaret Y. Boyle
97 on the 4th of April, born in '54
(Are you from Scotland?)
From Scotland, Edinburghshire, Kirkintilloch.
Tell me when you're ready brother

Ye Saints who dwell on Europe's shore
Prepare yourselves with many more
To leave your own dear native land
For sure God's judgments are at hand

We must cross the raging main
Before the promised land we gain
Then with the faithful make a start
To cross the plains in your handcart!

And some will push and some will pull
As we go marching up the hill
So merrily on our way we go
Until we reach the valley-o!

The lands that boast of modern light
We know are all as dark as night
Where poor men toil and want for bread,
And rich men's dogs are better fed.

The land that boasts of liberty
I never again would wish to see
Then you from Europe make a start
And we'll cross the plains in our handcart.

So on the road the carts was pulled
It very much surprised the world
To see the old and feeble dame
Thus lend a hand to pull the same

Then maidens too will dance and sing
Young men more happier then kings
And children too will laugh and play
Their strength increases day by day

Oh some will say it is too bad
The saints upon the foot to pad
But we do know it is the plan
To gather out the best of men

And women too for none but they
Can ever travel in this way
Then you from Europe made that start
And we crossed the plains in our handcart

Oh long before the valley's gained
We will be met upon the plains
With music sweet and friends so dear
And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer

And then with music and with song
How merrily we will march along
And we'll bless the day we made that start
For we crossed the plains in our handcart!

(Spoken: Will I finish it off there, or will I tell the rest?)

I have no more to write to you
Than the region's lone and preachers are few
For here in war and almost gone
With the red man in Zion's land

But my love to you I can't unfold
My love to you's like a ring of gold
It's round and pure and got no end
It is my love to you my friends

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Music: Katie Davis (b. 1984)

In early February Katie was in the studio with Steve Lerud, our engineer, working on recording the fiddle arrangements for some of the tunes on this collection. During a moment between takes, Katie started noodling with a new melody in an Old-Time style. Steve started recording, and said - "hey we should keep that!" In a couple of takes Katie had composed this tune.

The pioneer companies often had musicians to provide entertainment and inspiration along the way. We think the Mormon pioneers would have liked having Katie and her fiddle along on the trail.

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Words: Eunice Wyeth (1756-1830); Music: Thomas Hammond (1791-1880)

This hymn was written in about 1820 by two members of the Shaker community in Harvard, Massachusetts. The hymn expresses the Shaker ideal of simplicity, and exemplifies the concept of the humble being exalted and the powerful being made low. The hymn was included in a Hymnal published in 1822 by George deWitt in New Lebanon, New York. Some general background on this and many other Shaker hymns can be found at and

Both Mormonism and Shakerism bloomed in New England in the early part of the 19th century, and while there are points of doctrine that are very different, in ways their early development was similar. Both groups set up cohesive, economically self-sufficient and largely self-governing communities, setting themselves up not simply as a group of worshipers but as a people apart. Moreover, some Shakers converted to Mormonism, and much of the LDS church's original settlement in Ohio was supposed to have been on land consecrated to the church by a wealthy former Shaker, Leman Copley. However, Brother Copley later revoked his gift, with the result that a large number of New York settlers had to move on from Ohio to the new Mormon settlements in Missouri earlier than originally planned.

Our ancestor, Parley P. Pratt, was given a direct instruction from Joseph Smith to preach to the Shakers together with Sidney Rigdon and Leman Copley. See D&C Section 49.

The Humble Heart

Whence comes this bright celestial light,
What cause produces this?
A heaven opens to my sight,
Bright scenes of joy and bliss.

O Lord Jehovah art Thou here?
This light proclaims Thou art.
I am, indeed I'm always near
Unto the humble heart.

The proud and lofty I despise,
And bless the meek and low.
I hear the humble soul that cries,
And comfort I bestow.

Of all the trees among the wood
I've chose the little vine;
The meek and low are nigh to me,
The humble heart is mine.

Tall cedars fall before the wind,
The tempest breaks the oak,
While slender vines will bow and bend
And rise beneath the stroke.

I've chosen me a pleasant grove
And set my lovely vine
Here in my vineyard I will rove,
The humble heart is mine.

Of all the kinds that range at large,
I've chose one little flock,
And those I make my lovely charge,
Before them I will walk.

Their constant shepherd I will be,
And all their ways refine,
And they shall serve and rev'rence me,
The humble heart is mine.
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Words: John H. Newman (1801-1890); Music: John B. Dykes (1823-1876)

In 1833, while traveling in Italy as a young priest, John Newman fell ill for several weeks. During his illness he gained the strong impression that he had to go to England to do the work of God. Finally he took passage in a freighter filled with oranges headed for France, and while in route he wrote the hymn, "Lead, Kindly Light," which almost immediately became popular worldwide. The tune was written by an English churchman, John B. Dykes - one of 300 hymn tunes he wrote.

As to this arrangement, Lisa writes: "In August of 1990 I sat by the bedside of my sister, Patricia, who was dying of cancer. Although not an active Mormon, she loved this hymn and asked that I sing it at her funeral. I went home and felt deeply inspired during the arrangement of this hymn. It was a painful experience but the Lord blessed me with courage and grace and within two days I completed the song and sang it one week later at her Memorial Service. It was a very moving experience for me. This arrangement is dedicated to her memory."

Lead, Kindly Light

Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

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Words and Music: Levi Ward Hancock (1803 - 1882)

Levi Hancock was an early member and leader of the Mormon church, having joined in November 1830, just six months after the church was organized. He was a member of Zion's camp, an early settler of Missouri and of Nauvoo, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. Levi was also the only LDS "General Authority" to march with the Mormon Battalion from Iowa to Mexico, and then to California. He is listed on the official roster of the Battalion as "Company E Musician." It was during this trek that he wrote this ballad. He wrote several songs about Mormon life, and was good friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

The Mormon Battalion was a remarkable trek (the longest infantry march in American history). Just a few months after the Mormons had been forcibly evicted from Nauvoo with the acquiescence of the American government, representatives of the U.S. Army approached Brigham Young at the temporary Mormon camp at Council Bluffs, Iowa, to recruit volunteers for the Spanish-American War. The official recruiting circular delivered by Captain James Allen of the 1st Dragoons, read as follows:

"I have come among you, instructed by Col. S.F. Kearney of the U.S. Army, now commanding the Army of the West, to visit the Mormon camp, and to accept the service for twelve months of four or five companies of Mormon men who may be willing to serve their country for that period in our present war with Mexico; this force to unite with the Army of the West at Santa Fe, and be marched thence to California, where they will be discharged.... This is offered to the Mormon people now. This is an opportunity of sending a portion of their young and intelligent men to the ultimate destination of their whole people, and entirely at the expense of the United States, and this advanced party can thus pave the way and look out for the land for their brethren to come after them."

More on the Mormon Battalion at

Levi Hancock's nephew, George Washington Hancock, also enlisted in the Mormon Battalion (at the age of 20). George states in his biography that "a farewell ball was given to honor and cheer the departing soldiers. A bowery had been constructed for shelter and the dance floor consisted of hard earth tromped down by anxious feet. Violins, horns, tambourines and sleigh bells were assembled." Moreover, "courage was inspired in the hearts of both the volunteers and their families and when the parting came it was one of cheer as they marched away to the tune of "The Girl I Left Behind me" played on the fife by Levi Ward Hancock." George also relates the writing of this song by his Uncle Levi. Notice that as George relates it, the poem referred to the "loathsome roving wolves" - not the lonesome wolves. That makes a little more sense, but it is much harder to sing! The following is from George Washington Hancock's biography:

The condition of the [Battalion's] larder by this time may be imagined from the lines of Levi Ward Hancock, descriptive of their plight

"We sometimes now lack for bread
are less than quarter rations fed
and soon expect, for all of meat
Naught less than broke down mules to eat."

While crossing this mountainous region the Battalion had gone without water for 48 hours and each day their food grew less. On Dec. 2 they reached the ruins of the rancho San Bernadino and here the first wild cattle were found. They traveled to a stream called Ash Creek and there one of their number Elisha Smith, died and was buried. The night was made hideous with the howls of large wolves. Descriptive of this event Levi W. Hancock wrote:

When our army had camped beside the green grove
Where the pure water ran from the mountain above
When our hunters, returned from chasing the bulls
We listened to the howls of the loathsome roving wolves.

When the guards were all stationed to their points around
On the top of the hills where the wild bull is found;
The wind blowed higher and approached us so cold
As we listened to the howls of the loathsome roving wolves.

Then the groans of the dying was heard in the camp
And the cold chilling frost was seen on the tents
Then the thoughts of our hearts can never be told
As we listened to the howls of the loathsome wolves.

Then we dug a deep grave and buried him there
All alone by the grove, not a mark to tell where,
We piled brush and wood and burnt over his grave,
As a cheat for the red man and loathsome howling wolves.

We arose in the morning as soon as 'twas day.
The fifes and drummers had played reveille,
Soon the mules were brought up, our baggage to pull
We then bid good-by to the loathsome howling wolves.

LYRICS (as recorded):
The Lonesome Roving Wolves

The Mormons were camped down by the green grove
Where the pure waters flowed from the mountains above
And the hunters returned from chasing the bulls
While we listened to the howling of the lonesome roving wolves

We watched the last breath of our teamster who lay
In the cold grasp of death as his life wore away
In deep anguish he moaned as if mocking the pain
As we listened to the howling of the lonesome roving wolves

He died, a deep grave we then dug for him there
All alone by the road, not a sign to tell where
Then we piled brush and wood and burned over his grave
And we hid him from the savage and the lonesome roving wolves

'Twas a sad doleful night, yet by sunrise next day
When the fife and the drum had played reveille
We then harnessed our mules and we went on our way
And we then bid adieu to the lonesome roving wolves

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Words and music: American Traditional; additional verses, Lisa Arrington

The Shaker hymn "Love is Little, Love is Low" expresses in its mild simplicity the Shakers' abiding belief in humble faith and fellowship. The hymn comes from South Union, Kentucky and was written in about 1834 - the time the Mormons were gathering to the mid-western United States from New England. The hymn was first transcribed and published in 1976 by Roger Hall in his collection, "A Western Shaker Music Sampler."

Our mutual friend Roselle Hamblin came across that booklet of Shaker spirituals during a visit in rural New York and was sure Lisa would like "Love is Little." Lisa did like it - in fact she liked it so much that she wrote three more verses for the hymn. So the first verse is the traditional text, while verses 2, 3, and 4 were written by Lisa Arrington.

Love Is Little, Love Is Low

Love is little, love is low
Love will make our spirits grow
Grow in peace, grow in light
Love will do the thing that's right

Love is tender Love is best
In thy arms of holy rest
Keep me safe keep me still
Always open to thy will

Love thy neighbor, heal thy friend
Tender mercies now descend
Full of hope full of grace
As I gaze into thy face

Love surrounds me makes me whole
Love eternal fills my soul
Free from sin free from pain
When our Savior comes to reign

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Music: Katie Davis

The instrumental dance reel version "Love is Little" arose from an energetic moment in the studio. Katie put down the fiddle part first, then Liz added cello and Mark put down the bodhran percussion. The Shakers included dance in their worship, which makes this version of "Love is Little" as an energetic dance reel not only fun but fitting. (We originally called this reprise instrumental version of the hymn "Love is Big" but in light of the recent HBO series with a similar name, we thought better of it...! See )

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Words and music: Augustus P. Blase (circa 1860)

Augustus P. Blase, one of the most prolific Shaker hymn writers, wrote this hymn in three-part harmony, probably sometime in the 1860s. Lisa discovered this hymn in a collection published by Dover in 1962 called "The Gift to be Simple" edited by Edward Demin Andrews.

We must admit that even though this hymn was popularized at the height of the Mormon pioneer movement, there's no evidence that the Mormon Pioneers ever sang this Shaker hymn. But its message is so on point, we think they should have! We think it speaks particularly to missionaries - and we were happy to send this hymn and its message of faith and zeal with Katie, our fiddler, who left on a mission to South Africa just a few days after recording this CD.
Now, My Dear Companions

Now, my dear companions,
Is the time to start anew,
Anew, anew, for the kingdom of Heaven.
With faith and zeal and courage strong
We will ever be marching on,
Toiling on, struggling on, for a perfect Heaven.

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Words: Eliza Roxcy Snow (1804-1887); Music: Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

This hymn is based on one of Eliza R. Snow's most well-known and beautiful poems, written while she was in mourning for the death of her husband, Joseph Smith. The poem was originally titled "My Father in Heaven" and was published in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons (15 Nov. 1845). More than ten years later, the poem was set to Stephen Foster's tune "Gentle Annie" and soon became one of the most popular Mormon hymns - indeed it was said to have been Brigham Young's favorite hymn. It is especially important in Mormon doctrine as one of the few written acknowledgments of the Mother in Heaven.

The melody originally used for this hymn, and the melody we use on this collection, was written by Stephen Foster in 1856 and called "Gentle Annie." Foster's music was immensely popular and influential at the time the Mormons were making the trek westward. Various other Stephen Foster songs were given new Mormon lyrics, including "Brighter Days in Store" written to the Foster tune "Hard Times." Eventually the Foster melody was replaced with two other settings, one using a tune from an opera by Friedrich von Flotow's, and the other based on a popular gospel hymn "My Redeemer," written by James McGranahan. The "My Redeemer" hymn spread quickly through the Church at the end of the 19th century and continues to be the tune most often used today. We think the Gentle Annie melody has a poignancy that is missing in the later settings, and so we're glad to present this recording as a kind of revival.;ttHRDTIMES.html

O My Father

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood,
Was I nutured near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou has placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet oft-times a secret something
Whispered, "You're a stranger here,"
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav'ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.
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Music: Paddy Fahy

Katie learned this lively jig from the Kane Sisters of Galway, Ireland. It seems to follow the Handcart Song nicely, reflecting the origin of so many of the handcart pioneers in the British Isles. Paddy Fahy wrote dozens of jigs, but he modestly named them all "Paddy Fahy's." Some of them have evolved informal sub-titles so musicians can discuss them without having to hum a few measures. Maybe this one will become known as Paddy Fahy's Handcart Jig?

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Words: Bever's Christian Songster (1858); Music: American Traditional

The song text was first printed in a hymn collection called Bever's Christian Songster in 1858, but the author of the words is unknown.

The origin of the melody is similarly mysterious. The tune is thought to have originated as an African-American spiritual called "The Pilgrim's Song." Some sources attribute the tune to a preacher in Alabama named Rev. C.G. Keith, but just as many claim the tune is a traditional American spiritual. The hymn was included in early editions of the Sacred Harp.

Poor Wayfaring Stranger
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
A-trav'ling through this land of woe.
And there's no sickness, toil or danger
In that bright world to which I go.

I'm going home to see my father (mother, sister, brother etc.)
I'm going there no more to roam;
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is steep and rough;
But beauteous fields lie just beyond me
Where souls redeemed their vigil keep.

I'm going there to meet my mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that bright land
I want to shout Salvation's story
In concert with that blood-washed band.

I'm going there to meet my Savior
To sing His praises forevermore
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home.

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Words: William W. Phelps (1792-1872); Music: Southern Harmony (1835)

This arrangement is inspired by Marvin Payne's 1975 folk performance of this hymn, and was Lisa's first hymn arrangement. Adam-ondi-Ahman is a place in western Missouri that has almost mystical significance as the site of the Garden of Eden, and as the future location of the City of God. This hymn tells of the "place of land of God where Adam dwelt" spoken of by the prophet Joseph. It is now a beautiful scene of rolling hills and woods, and this very American hymn celebrates both its past and its future.

This hymn is one of the oldest original Mormon hymns. It was written in about 1832 and was first published in the Messenger and Advocate, June 1835, just five years after the church was organized. Within months of its publication it became the most popular hymn in the Church, and remained so until the Nauvoo period. It was included in Emma Smith's 1836 hymnal, and unlike most of those early hymns, it has remained in all subsequent church hymn books. William W. Phelps (1792-1872) wrote the words, as well as dozens of other Mormon hymns, including Now Let Us Rejoice and The Spirit of God, both of which, together with Adam-ondi-Ahman, were sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple in 1836.

Interestingly when the hymn was written in about 1832, it was some six years before the place now called Adam-ondi-Ahman was identified. The hymn had reference to early Mormon scriptures that identify Adam-ondi-Ahman as the place where Adam lived and blessed his children before his death. D&C 78:15-16; 107:53-55. Only later, on May 19, 1838, did Joseph Smith identify the place in Daviess County, Missouri as Adam-ondi-Ahman. A town by that name with as many as 1500 inhabitants prospered until the Mormons were expelled from Missouri in March 1839.

The tune of "Adam-ondi-Ahman" comes from the hymn "Prospect of Heaven," included in the popular collection of southern Appalachian folk hymns, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (commonly known as Southern Harmony), published by William Walker in 1835. That book was the source of several old LDS hymns, though the shape-note "sacred harp" type of singing that typified those hymns would sound quite unusual to those accustomed to the modern Mormon hymnal way of singing.

The old tune Prospect of Heaven is not immediately recognizable as the same tune as we now sing with this hymn, but if you play through the middle stanza as printed in Southern Harmony, and use some imagination, you can recognize it. See

On sacred harp singing in general see and
On the history of this tune:

This earth* was once a garden place,
With all her glories common;
And men did live a holy race,
And worship Jesus face to face,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We read that Enoch walk'd with God,
Above the power of Mammon:
While Zion spread herself abroad,
And saints and angels sang aloud
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Her land was good and greatly blest
Beyond all Israel's Canaan;**
Her fame was know from east to west
Her peace was great, and pure the rest
Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Hosanna to such days to come
The Savior's second coming
When all the earth in glorious bloom
Affords the saints a holy home
Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.

*Originally "This world was once a garden place"
**Originally "Beyond old Israel's Canaan"

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Words: David Smith (1844-1909); Music: Unknown.

This song was written by David Smith, youngest son of Joseph and Emma Smith, who was born in November of the year his father was killed. David never knew his father but loved and revered him and was deeply committed to his father's mission. Thy hymn refers to the graves of Joseph and Hyrum that were hidden soon after the martyrdom to prevent desecration by mobsters. More symbolically, of course, the song also refers to the father David loved but never knew in this life.

David Smith was described in a recent biography thus:
"He was a brilliant and charismatic man, whose mind began to be clouded by mental illness when he was twenty-eight. Painter, singer, philosopher, theologian, naturalist, preacher, poet, and traveler, he approached life with warmth, humor, and intellectual curiosity. For a decade and a half before tragedy struck he was so effective a missionary for his church that he was placed in its presidency, so good a poet that his hymns are still sung, so compelling a preacher in Utah that it was rumored he would supplant Brigham Young, and so entertaining a writer that his descriptions of the places he visited conveyed to readers in the Midwest the excitement of America's expanding frontier." See "From Mission to Madness, Last Son of the Mormon Prophet" by Valeen Tippetts Avery.

While David Smith remained part of the "reorganized" LDS movement, it is interesting that this song has never appeared in any of the hymnals of the RLDS/Community of Christ church. It was included in a Utah Mormon hymnbook called the Deseret Sunday School Songs, published in Salt Lake City in 1909. In that hymnal, the melody is also attributed to David Smith, but recent scholarship has shown that despite his many talents, David Smith did not write music, casting doubt on the attribution of the tune to him in Deseret Sunday School Songs.'s_an_unknown_grave.htm

The Unknown Grave

There's an unknown grave in a green lowly spot
The form that it covers will ne'er be forgot.
Where the haven trees spread and the wild locusts wave
Their fragrant white blooms o'er the unknown grave.
Over the unknown grave.

And near by its side does the wild rabbit tread,
While over the bosom the wild thistles spread.
As if in their kindness to guard and to save
From man's footstep intruding the unknown grave,
Guarding the unknown grave.

The heavens may weep and the thunders moan low,
Or the bright sunshine and the soft breezes blow,
Unheeding the heart, once responsive and brave,
Of the one who sleeps there in the unknown grave,
Low in the unknown grave.

The Prophet whose life was destroyed by his foes
Sleeps now where no hand may disturb his repose.
Till trumpets of God drown the notes of the wave
And we see him arise from his unknown grave,
God bless that unknown grave.

The love all embracing that never can end,
In death, as in life, knew him well as a friend,
The power of Jesus the mighty to save
Will dispell of its treasure the unknown grace,
No more an unknown grace.

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We have included on the CD as Bonus MP3 Tracks the two tunes on Lisa Arrington's original 1992 "Hidden Treasures" recording that we have not re-recorded on this CD, plus one that we did re-record but have decided to present as a bonus tune. In addition, here are some informal recordings of tunes by FiddleSticks, and an accidental "outtake" recording captured during the recording session.

B1 Margaret Boyle's Full Version of the Handcart Song
B2 Lord of the Dance/Gift to be Simple (Lisa with FiddleSticks)
B3 There Is a Land of Pleasure (Lisa Arrington)
B4 The Saviour's Universal Prayer (Lisa Arrington)
B5 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Pickin' the Devil's Eye
B6 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Bonaparte's Retreat
B7 Outtakes (The Steve Lerud Blues)

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The complete recording of Margaret Graham Young Boyle singing "The Handcart Song" is included as an MP3 with the Bonus Tracks.

Words: Sydney B. Carter (1915 - 2004); Music: Joseph Brackett, Jr. (1797 - 1882)

The melody for this hymn is the American Shaker song "Simple Gifts," which was a dance song written by Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848, and sung by the Shakers (more formally called the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing). It was first published in The Gift to be Simple: Shaker Rituals and Songs. Shaker worship included dance, and that is reflected in such lines of the song as "turn, turn will be our delight" and "turning, turning we come round right".

Here are the original words to the hymn:

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

The song became well-known in the mid 20th century when Aaron Copland used the tune in his ballet Appalachian Spring, and later included it in a set of Old American Songs. The words Lisa sings in our new recording are actually relatively recent. English poet and musician Sydney Carter wrote the Lord of the Dance lyrics in 1963. It quickly gained status as a favorite folk hymn, and is often incorporated into annual "Christmas Revels." It is used here by permission of Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream IL; (c) 1963 Stainer & Bell Ltd. (ASCAP).

As Lisa describes the hymn text, "Its simple and expressive language vividly expresses my love and belief in Jesus Christ as my Redeemer. The image of Christ leading the dance with all man- and womankind fills my soul with tremendous joy."

For more information:

The arrangement presented in the bonus track was recorded at the same time as the other tunes on "Farewell to Nauvoo." The piano and vocals are by Lisa Arrington and it includes FiddleSticks members Katie on fiddle, Liz on cello, and Becca on flute. We really like this arrangement, but in the end we decided that with the new words (written just a few years ago), couldn't really be considered a hymn of the time of the pioneers. So here it is as a bonus MP3. We hope you'll like it!


The Lord of the Dance

I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John -
They came with me
And the Dance went on.


I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.


I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black -
It's hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I'd gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on.


They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
If you'll live in me -
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he.


Copyright 1963 Stainer & Bell Ltd. London, England, used by permission of U.S. administrator Hope Publishing Co, Carol Stream IL 60188 (ASCAP).

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Words and Music: American Traditional /William Walker (1809 - 1875)/ Ananias Davisson? (1780-1857)

The arrangement presented as an MP3 with the bonus tracks was recorded by Lisa Arrington in 1992 and is reproduced here from her "Hidden Treasures" album. While we didn't re-record it for the "Farewell to Nauvoo" project, it is too lovely a tune to leave forgotten on cassette forever, so here it is and a bonus file. "Hidden Treasures" was recorded by Guy Randle at Rosewood Recording and produced by Guy Randle and Ken Hodges. (c)1992 James Arrington Productions.

This hymn, both words and music, is included as No. 63 in the Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (commonly known as Southern Harmony), published by William "Singin' Billy" Walker (1809 - 1875) in 1835 in Philadelphia. The Southern Harmony was a shape note book which contained 335 songs and became possibly the most popular southern tunebook in the 19th century. The Southern Harmony credits "Davison & Walker" as the composer of "Land of Pleasure," presumably referring to Singin' Billy and Ananias Davisson, 1780-1857, author of the Kentucky Harmony (in 1816) and other musical works. We weren't able to figure out whether they actually wrote the words and music or just collected and compiled them, but in any case the song has passed so completely into the public domain that it is probably accurate by now to describe the tune, as it usually is, as an Appalachian folk hymn. See


1. There is a land of pleasure,
Where streams of joy for ever roll,
'Tis there I have my treasure,
And there I long to rest my soul.
Long darkness dwelt around me,
With scarcely once a cheering ray,
But since my Savior found me,
A lamp has shone along my way.

2. My way is full of danger,
But 'tis the path that leads to God;
And like a faithful soldier,
I'll march along the heavenly road;
Now I must gird my sword on,
My breastplate, helmet, and my shield,
And fight the hosts of Satan
Until I reach the heavenly field.

3. I'm on the way to Zion,
Still guarded by my Savior's hand;
O, come along, dear sinners,
And view Emmanuel's happy land:
To all that stay behind me,
I bid a long, a sad farewell!
O come! or you'll repent it,
When you shall reach the gates of hell.

4. The vale of tears surrounds me,
And Jordan's current rolls before;
O! how I stand and tremble,
To hear the dismal waters roar!
Whose hand shall then support me,
And keep my soul from sinking there
From sinking down to darkness,
And to the regions of despair?

5. This stream shall not affright me,
Although it take me to the grave;
If Jesus stand beside me,
I'll safely ride on Jordan's wave:
His word can calm the ocean,
His lamp can cheer the gloomy vale:
O may this friend be with me,
When through the gates of death I sail!

6. Come, then, thou king of terrors,
Thy fatal dart may lay me low;
But soon I'll reach those regions
Where everlasting pleasures flow:
O sinners, I must leave you,
And join that blessed immortal band,
No more to stand beside you,
Till at the judgment bar we stand.

7. Soon the archangel's trumpet
Shall shake the globe from pole to pole.
And all the wheels of nature
Shall in a moment cease to roll.
Then we shall see the Savior,
With shining ranks of angels come,
To execute his vengeance,
And take his ransomed people home.

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This is a Shaker version of the Lord's Prayer, very slow and reverent. The Saviour's Universal Prayer was originally written in 1845 at Christmastime. It was published in James Richardson's hymnal, from South Union, Kentucky.

This recording is also from Lisa Arrington's 1992 "Hidden Treasures" album. "Hidden Treasures" was recorded by Guy Randle at Rosewood Recording and produced by Guy Randle and Ken Hodges. (c)1992 James Arrington Productions.


Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed by Thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
In earth as it is done in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not in temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the glory and power
Forevermore, Amen

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These are two instrumental tunes recorded on the fly by Nate Keller in his living room during a jam session in February 2006, just a couple of days before Katie left for her mission to South Africa. The recordings are informal and unpolished, but both are traditional tunes might have been heard on the Mormon trail at day's end as the musical instruments were brought out around the campfire. And they give you a hint of the virtuosity of Katie and Liz as instrumentalists.

B5 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Pickin' the Devil's Eye

Pickin' the Devil's Eye, or also called "Pick the Devil's Eye Out", is a traditional Ozark Mountains fiddle tune, done here by the dueling fiddle/cello combination of Katie and Liz.

B6 FiddleSticks Instrumental: Bonaparte's Retreat

Katie and Liz perform an energetic version of this 19th century fiddle tune that was used by infantry fiddlers during the Civil War to taunt the opposing side.

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Recording sessions can get a little long, and sometimes Katie will relieve the boredom by spontaneously breaking into an improvised and never to repeated tune, composed on the spot. Usually these gems are lost forever, but Steve Lerud, our engineer, happened to capture this one when he left the recording equipment accidentally running after a take. It will probably never make the top ten, but at least Steve can now truly say he has a blues tune named after him.

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A number of our ancestors were early members of the Mormon Church, and made the trek to Utah either by wagon or handcart. We like to think we understand a little more about them by trying to get to know their music. Here are a few of their stories. (The relationships are described with respect to Becca, Kate and Liz):

Joshua and Susan Ann Davis
Joshua and Susan are our paternal great-great-great-grandparents, that is, the parents of our father's father's father's father. Susan's parents joined the Mormon faith in Kirtland Ohio, and then moved with the church to Missouri. Joshua's family, was originally from Annapolis, Maryland, and Joshua himself was born when the family lived in Illinois. But before Joshua was grown his father moved the family to the western frontier, to Caldwell County Missouri. There they encountered the Mormons, who considered western Missouri their New Jerusalem. When mob persecution and the Missouri government's extermination order required the Mormons to leave Missouri, Joshua went with the church to Nauvoo, and was baptized there in 1840 by Orson Hyde. Later that year he and Susan Ann were married in Nauvoo. One of our persistent family legends is that Joshua helped in building the Nauvoo Temple, working one day in ten at the temple, as a direct tithe. He was well acquainted with the prophet Joseph Smith and, so the story goes, one cold day, Brother Joseph saw Joshua on his way to the temple site in a pair of worn shoes strapped together with hickory bark. According to the story, Joseph took pity on Joshua's frozen toes, and gave him a new pair of boots. After Joseph was murdered, Joshua and Susan Ann fled Nauvoo in 1846 with their two small children, and two more were born in Iowa as they prepared to move to Utah. Finally in 1849, they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but then settled in the new village of Provo. They build their first home inside the fort that was built to protect the new settlers from attack by the local Indian tribes who resented the newcomers. Joshua was the town's first sheriff. He married two other wives in Provo, that being the norm then for successful Mormon men, served several missions for the LDS church, owned considerable farmland in Provo and Orem, and raised 18 children.

Parley and Mary Pratt
Parley and Mary Pratt are our maternal great-great-great-grandparents, that is, the parents of our mother's father's father's father. Parley was one of the earliest converts to Mormonism, who joined the church in 1830 in New York, soon after it was organized. Mary was from Glasgow, Scotland, and met Parley when he was the mission president in Britain. When she joined the Mormon church her parents disowned her, and Parley invited her to come to America and stay with his family in Nauvoo. In time, he proposed to her, and in 1844 she was married to him by Brigham Young in the yet unfinished Nauvoo Temple, becoming Parley's fourth wife. Parley was an energetic church leader, and was always away on one mission after another. Essentially being single moms, Mary and her other "sister wives" depended on each other as family. When the Mormons were expelled from Nauvoo, Parley was away, and Mary made her way in a wagon over the frozen Mississippi river in February 1846 to Iowa. Before she made it to the settlement in Mt. Pisgah, her son Helaman (our ancestor) decided it was time to arrive, and he was born in a wagon on the trail. She crossed the Great Plains to Utah in the second pioneer company in June 1847, together with Parley and six of his other wives.

Samuel and Mary Ann Leaver
Samuel and Mary Ann were both from the village of Neitrop, Oxfordshire, England. They apparently made their way together to New York City when they were in their early 20s, and were married in Brooklyn in 1831. Their second child, our ancestor Mary (she's our father's mother's father's father's mum) was born in New York in 1838. Somewhere along the way they met and joined up with the Mormons, and must have lived in or near Nauvoo by 1846 when they and the whole city was ethnically cleansed and they were forced to make their way to camps in the wilderness. They had a son born in 1848 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, which was a staging area for Mormon pioneers trying to flee persecution in the United States, hoping to find refuge on the shores of the Great Salt Lake in what was then unorganized Mexican territory.

John and Harriet Ellis
John was born in Ontario, Canada while Harriet was from Kent in southern England. They both arrived in Nauvoo when the city was first being established, and were married in the nearby town of Quincy in 1839. They had two children born in the Nauvoo area. Where they lived in Nauvoo and what they did there is a mystery to us, but they must have been personal witnesses to the city's evolution from frontier settlement to bustling mini-metropolis (it was the largest city in Illinois in its day) to ghost town. In 1846, they abandoned their home and joined the westward exodus. Later that year, while camping as refugees across the Mississippi river from their home, they gave birth to our great-great-great grandfather (that is, our father's father's mother's father's father), Stephen Hales Ellis. Another child was born on the plains in 1849. (Harriet gave birth to eight other children after they arrived in Utah!)

Daniel and Clarissa Amelia Carter
The Carters were from Vermont, and were part of the Mormon movement from the beginning. They lived in Kirtland Ohio, site of the first Mormon temple, in the early 1830s. They then moved with the church to Far West, Missouri in 1838, but arrived just in time to be expelled by mob violence. Clarissa died in 1840 on the road back to Illinois, but Daniel carried on with their four children, and with the other Mormons found a temporary refuge in Nauvoo. Daniel remarried Sally Perry in 1846 in Nauvoo, but they didn't get much of a honeymoon. The mob violence against Nauvoo soon broke out and he had to flee with his new wife, who was pregnant. Sally gave birth in the refugee camp of Winter Quarters Nebraska in December 1846, but she died soon afterwards at the age of 21. Meanwhile, Daniel and Clarissa's daughter, Harriet Amelia, was married in Pottowatamie County Iowa, just over the river from Nauvoo, in a settlement called Carterville, in 1849, while their families waited to make the long march to Utah. She married Stephen Ellis, son of their Nauvoo neighbors John and Harriet Ellis. Our great-great-great grandmother Helen Lee Ellis was their daughter.

Lars and Bodil Madsen
Lars and Bodil Madsen of Svinninge, Denmark, determined to join the gathering to Utah after they joined the Mormon church in 1854. They sent five of their seven children ahead in 1855, since there was money enough only for their passage. Parents Lars and Bodil followed the next year, sailing from Copenhagen in November 1855 with their youngest son. After arriving in St Louis, they set out on July 31, 1856 with the Hodgett ox-team wagon company, one of three ill-fated companies that left St Louis too late in the season. The Madsens' relatively well-provisioned company encountered along the way the several hundred destitute immigrants in the less well prepared Martin and Willie handcart companies. In delaying their journey to aid these travelers, they shared their fate. Traveling together, they were surprised by an October blizzard near Devils Gate, Wyoming. They became snowbound and, ill equipped for winter weather and out of provisions, hundreds died of exposure. Among the casualties was Grandpa Lars, then aged 62, who was buried in the snow near the Sweetwater river, leaving Bodil and her 9-year old son to continue the journey alone. They continued on, eventually settling in the Danish colony of Mt. Pleasant in central Utah with her other children. Lars and Bodil's daughter Annie Margrethe, who was 19 when her father died in Wyoming, was our Grandma Louise's great-grandmother.

Anders and Eda Regina Jonsson
Anders Jonsson's family accepted the Mormon religion in Sweden, as also did Eda Regina Johansson's. While they were children, their families moved to America and in 1862 joined the trek across the plains of the "great American desert," walking with their worldly belongings (and their babies) from Nebraska, across Wyoming and at last into the Salt Lake Valley. Anders and Eda Regina grew up in Heber City Utah, and when he was 17, he made a beautiful pine cabinet for Eda as an engagement proposal. She accepted and they married and had seven children. Anders was a skilled carpenter who was a craftsman on the Heber Tabernacle, which still stands. Their daughter, Louise Elizabeth, was our own Grandma Betty's grandma. The cabinet Anders made is still in our living room.

Joseph and Ann Howard
Joseph and Ann Howard were married near Birmingham, England, had 12 children, and then decided to come to America to join with the gathering in Utah. They sailed the Atlantic and then, with the 12 kiddies in tow (including a baby and twin 5-year olds) joined a wagon train that left late in the summer of 1864, and were caught in bad weather in the mountains. First the baby and one of the twins died, and then mother Ann died and was buried along the Sweetwater River in Wyoming. Big brother Thomas, who was then about 20, was our dad's dad's mom's grandpa.

Maybe the Davis family and Lisa Arrington were drawn together on this project because we share common roots in Nauvoo and on the pioneer trail to Utah from Nauvoo. Here's a little about Lisa's pioneer ancestors:

My maternal great great grandparents were Nathan Tanner Porter and Rebecca Ann Cherry. Nathan was born in Corinth, Vermont, July 10, 1820. Relocating to Tazewell County, Illinois, the family joined the church there in about 1832. For the next five years they endured the trials of the saints' persecution which eventually resulted in the expulsion from their settlement in Illinois. In 1841, Nathan was called to serve a mission to the Eastern States until 1842 when he returned home to Lee County, Iowa. In May of 1844 he was asked to present a document written by Joseph Smith, "upon the policies and powers of the Federal Government." While on board a Mississippi steamboat enroute to St. Louis, he read this statement to a prominent lawyer who commented, "Gentlemen, that is a masterpiece of statesmanship, and if Joe Smith is let alone, he will go into the Presidentiaol chair. I'll vote for him!" Although encouraged by these comments, their hopes were dashed by the news of the martyrdom one month later.

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Design and Illustrations-
CD Design by Cindy Ferguson of Seattle, Washington. You can find her at Here is information about the images we have used:

Detail from "Handcart Company," by C. C. A. Christensen (1900, oil on canvas, 25" x 38"). The artist had first-hand personal knowledge of handcart travel, since he was himself a handcart pioneer. Christensen was a Danish convert to Mormonism who, with his wife, sailed to the United States in 1857, made their way to Iowa City, purchased hickory handcarts, and set out on the trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley. He painted this scene many years later, in 1900. The original painting is owned by the Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City; the image has passed into the public domain. Here's the whole, uncropped image:

Internal Images:
Handcart Illustration: The handcart image is titled "Mormons Crossing the Plains" and was printed in an 1856 newspaper. The image was provided to us by rare book dealer Rick Grunder in Lafayette, New York ( ). (He was also the source of the " Return to Nauvoo " cover.) Rick says that this image is the only original illustration of the time which he has seen, showing actual handcart pioneers. However, some of the pictorial newspapers cheated a bit on their illustrations, so you cannot stake your life on the total accuracy at times. For instance, if you look very closely, the man in the foreground pulling the handcart seems to have a pipe dangling from his mouth - although that could be accurate in those days - who knows!

Driving Wagon Engraving: This amusing image of pioneers traveling in a wagon appeared in Harpers Magazine in 1874. It is titled "A Mormon Family Driving to Conference Meeting." The joke is, of course, that there is but one man among a crowd of women and small children. Maybe it is accurate, maybe not, but what an image!

Nauvoo River View (on the CD itself): This classic view of Nauvoo was done in Germany in the 1850s, and shows the ruins of the Temple towering over the abandoned Mormon city.

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Hymns and Songs of the Mormon Pioneers

The family band FiddleSticks and Lisa Arrington have combined their talents to present this new collection of hymns and songs from the Mormon Pioneers and from other hymn traditions of nineteenth-century America.

This "Farewell to Nauvoo" album is a sequel, in two ways. It is a kind of Volume Two in a Series, following up the FiddleSticks CD from 2004 called "Return to Nauvoo." At the same time, many of the arrangements on this album appeared first on Lisa Arrington's 1992 solo recording "Hidden Treasures." Lisa and the Davis family have been friends for many years and this long-awaited collaboration has produced some lovely new arrangements of favorite old melodies, fusing Lisa's vocals and imaginative piano arrangements with the eclectic FiddleSticks Celtic style.

Lisa Arrington is a storyteller. By giving these lovely old hymns and songs her colorful and personal perspective, she tells the stories in a way that brings to life the people we remember as the Mormon Pioneers.

Lisa Arrington wrote the piano arrangements on this album, and recorded all of the piano and vocal performances.

The FiddleSticks family musical group provided the other arrangements and instrumentation, with additional harmonization by Andrew Maxfield. Performers on this collection include Katie Davis on fiddle and viola; Liz Davis on cello; Becca Davis Stevenson on flute; Mark Davis on bodhran; and Andrew Maxfield on guitar and accordion.

Thanks to our sound engineer and co-producer Steve Lerud for his careful ear and musical sensitivity. To Cindy Ferguson for her Pearl Award-winning album design. To Hal Cannon and the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections for the recording of the Handcart Song sung by Margaret Y. Boyle.

Recorded and engineered by Steve Lerud at Lakeview Recording in Orem, Utah ( ), except flute parts recorded by Karl Kasberg at Lava Tracks Studio in Kamuela, Hawaii ( ). Mastered by Steve Lerud. Art design and layout by Cindy Ferguson, . Cover image: detail from Handcart Company, by C. C. A. Christensen (1900, oil on canvas, 25" x 38"), Church Museum of History and Art, Salt Lake City. Thanks to Rick Grunder ( ) for providing pioneer images for the internal design.

Distributed by Deseret Book Distribution, Salt Lake City, 801-517-3310. Arrangements, performances, and liner notes copyright (c)(P)2006 FiddleSticks -- Celtic and American Folk Music. All Rights Reserved. "FiddleSticks" is a registered trademark of the Davis Family Folk Band.

For booking performances or other information about Lisa Arrington call 801-367-3802 or email
For booking or ordering information about FiddleSticks call 800-969-7640 or email

FiddleSticks is the Davis Family Folk Band
(c)(P) 2006 FiddleSticks Celtic and American Folk Music. All Rights Reserved.
Tel: 800-969-7640.