Can (May) (Will) the Circle Be Unbroken (By And By) (Charles H. Gabriel and Ada R. Habershon) (A.P. Carter)

christian hymn, 1907

Sources:

Sheet Music:

Alexander, Charles M.: Alexander's Gospel Songs. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company

Recordings:

? - Dugald McNeill - Beltona 1460 Matrix M12416 -

1927-29 - Rev. Johnny Blakey - "Will the Circle..."

1928 - Rev. J.C. Burnett - Columbia 14385-D - "Will the Circle..."

1928 - Frank and James McCravy - Brunswick - "Will the Circle..."

1928-31 - Silver Leaf Quartet of Norfolk - "Will the Circle..."

1935 - The Carter Family - New York City - May 6, 1935 - 17472-1,-2 Banner 33465 - A.P. Carter (v), Sara Carter (v,ah), Maybelle Carter (v,g)

1936-38 - The Monroe Brothers - "Will the Circle..."

1938-43 - Alphabetical Four - "Will the Circle..."

1939 - Carter Family - Feb. 2, 1939 -- Mexico - Consolidated Radio Corp. of Mexico 15A/B (TD 16") - A.P. Carter, Sara Carter, Maybelle Carter

1944-49 - The Paramount Singers - "Will the Circle..."

1946 -51 - The Swan Silvertones - "Will the Circle..."

1948-52 - John Lee Hooker - "Will the Circle..."

1952 - Eddy Arnold - RCA Victor, on: All-Time Hits from the Hills - "Will the Circle..."

1955-57 - Eddie Starrr - Jaxon Records - "Will the Circle..."

1957 - Pat Boone - DOT Records, on: Hymns We Love - "Will the Circle..."

1958 - Brown's Ferry Four - King, on: Sixteen Sacred Songs, Vol. 2 - "Will the Circle..."

1958 - Red Foley - MCA, on: Beyond the Sunset - "Will the Circle..."

1959 - George Jones - Mercury, on: Country Church Time - "Will the Circle..."

1959 - Rose Maddox - "Will the Circle..."

1959 - Jimmy Witherspoon - Legacy, on: Feelin' the Spirit - "Can the Circle..."

1956-63 - Jerry Lee Lewis - "Will the Circle..."

1960s - Roy Acuff - "Will the Circle..."

1960-62 - Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley - Folkways - "Will the Circle..."

(1961) - Bob Dylan - May 2, 1961? - Minneapolis MN (Bonnie Beecher's Appartment) - (recordings by Tony Glover) - Bob Dylan (v,g,h) - "Will the Circle..."

(1961) - John Lee Hooker - Jan. 4, 1961 - Chicago IL - 61-1716 Dynasty 7301, on: John Lee Hooker In Person (released 1974) - John Lee Hooker (v,g), Lefty Bates (g), poss. Roebuck "Pop" Staples (g), Quinn Wilson (b), Earl Phillips (d) - "Will the Circle..."

(1961) - Blind Connie Williams - May 5, 1961 - Philadelphia PA - Testament 2225, on: Philadelphia Street Singer (released 1974) - "Will the Circle..."

1961-65 - The Stanley Brothers - "Will the Circle..."

1963 - Mississippi John Hurt - Washington DC - July 23, 1963 - on: D.C. Blues: Library of Congress Recordings, Vol. 2 (released 2006) - Mississippi John Hurt (v,g) - "Will the Circle..."

1964 - The Carter Family - Nov. 29, 1963 - Nashville TN - NCO-80076 Columbia 2152, on: The Carter Family With Special Guest Johnny Cash: Keep On the Sunny Side - Maybelle Carter (v,g), Anita, Helen, June Carter (v) - "Will the circle..."

1964 - Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Vanguard, on: Jack Elliott - Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Tedham Porterhouse (g,h), Erik Darling (bj) - "Will the Circle..."

1965 - Ruth Brown - Philips, on: Gospel Time

1965 - The Lewis Family - Starday Records, on: The Lewis Family & Carl Story - "Will the Circle..."

1965 - Marty Robbins - Sony, on: What God Has Done - "Will the Circle..."

1966 - John Fahey - Takoma, on: Vol. 4: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party - "Will the Circle..."

1967 - Bob Dylan - summer 1967 - Byrdcliffe or West Saugerties NY - 2 tks on: Columbia, The Bootleg Series Vol. 11-The Basement Tapes (released 2014) - Bob Dylan, The Band (Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm) - "Will the Circle..."

1968 - The Staple Singers - Frank Music, on: Pray On - "Will the Circle..."

(1968) - Babe Stovall - July 17, 1968 - Arcola, on: The Old Ace: Mississippi Blues & Religious Songs (released 2003) - "Will the circle..."

1969 - Joan Baez - Vanguard, on: David's Album - "Will the Circle..."

1969 - David Houston - Epic, on: David - "Will the Circle..."

1970 - Johnny Cash/Jerry Lee Lewis - Bellaphon Records, on: Sunday Down South - "Will the Circle..."

1970 - Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Vanguard, on: The Essential Ramblin' Jack Elliott - "Will the Circle..."

1970 - Ronnie Hawkins - Rhino Atlantic, on: Ronnie Hawkins - "Will the Circle..."

1970 - Alexis Korner - June-Dec. 1969 - Castle/Sanctuary, on: Both Sides - "will the Circle..."

1971 - Delaney & Bonnie - Warner, on: Motel Shot - "Will the Circle..."

1971 - Ocean - Unidisc, on: Put Your Hand in the Hand - "Will the

Circle..."

1971 - Pentangle - BMG, on: Reflection - "Will the Circle..."

1971 - The Youngbloods - June 6-July 15, 1971 - Sundazed, on: Good and Dusty - "Will the Circle..."

1971-75 - The Allman Brothers Band - "Will the Circle..."

1972 - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Aug. 1971 - EMI, on: Will the Circle Be Unbroken - "Will the Circle..."

1972 - Shocking Blue - Pink Elephant, on: Attila - "Will the Circle..."

1973 - Gregg Allman - Polydor, on: Laid Back - "Will the Circle..."

1973 - John Renbourn - Recall, on: So Clear - "Will the Circle..."

1974 - Red, White & Blue (Grass) - Ginn Music Group, on: Pickin' Up! - "Will the Circle..."

1975 - The Seldom Scene - Rebel, on: Live at the Cellar Door - "Will the Circle..."

1976 - Country Joe McDonald - Köln, GER (Live WDR-studio) - Jan. 1, 1976 - (4th song)

1976 - Willie Nelson - Sony, on: Troublemaker - "Will the Circle..."

1976 - Charlie Rich - Sony, on: Silver Linings - "Will the Circle..."

1977 - Jerry Jeff Walker - MCA, on: A Man Must Carry On - "Will the Circle..."

1979 - Asleep at the Wheel - Acadia, on: Served Live - "Will the Circle..."

1981 - Hoyt Axton - Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 1980 - Edsel, on: Live! - "Will the Circle..."

1982 - Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis - April 23, 1981 - Böblingen, Germany - Columbia, on: The Survivors Live - "Will the Circle..."

1982 - Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger - July, Sept. 1981 - Reprise, on: Precious Friend - "Will the Circle..."

1982 - Hans Theessink, Gary Lockran - Autogram, on: Cushioned for a Soft Ride Inside - "Will the Circle..."

1986 - Jim Nabors - Ranwood Records, on: Hymns & Country - "Will the Circle..."

1988 - The Country Gentlemen - Smithsonian Folkways, on: Folk Songs & Bluegrass - "Will the Circle..."

1988 - Spacemen 3 - Fire Records, on: Revolution - "May the Circle..."

1989 - The Neville Brothers - A&M, on: Yellow Moon - "Will the Circle..."

1990 - Terrance Simien - Restless, on: Zydeco on the Bayou - "Will the Circle..."

1991 - Johnny Cash - Sept. 17, 1991 - Johnstown PA -

1992 - Gene Clark/Carla Olson - Demon, on: Silhouetted in Light - "Will the Circle..."

1992 - The Holmes Brothers - Real World Records, on: Jubilation - "Will the Circle"

1992 - The Jordanaires - EMI, on: Will the Circle Be Unbroken - "Will the Circle..."

1993 - Johnny Cash, Carter Family - Irland - "Will the Circle..."

1993 - Hans Theessink - on: Live

1994 - Flora Molton & Eleanor Ellis - Ocora, on: Gospel Songs - "Will the Circle..."

1995 - Moe Bandy - Intersound, on: Gospel Favorites - "Will the Circle..."

1995 - Kristin Hersh - 4AD, on: The Holy Single - "Can the Circel..."

1995 - George Pegram - Rounder, on: George Pegram - "Will the Circle..."

1996 - BB Sky - ARB, on: Orbis Orbis Gospela Capella - "Will the Circle..."

1997 - Gene Harris - Dec. 9/10, 1996 - Concord Jazz, on: In His Hands - "Will the Circle..."

1997 - Snuff Johnson/Kim Wilson - Black Magic, on: Will the Circle Be Unbroken - "Will the Circle..."

1998 - Clay & Scott - June 1, 1961 - Testament, on: Standing on the Highway - "Will the Cicle..."

1998 - Dorsey Dixon - 30s, 60s - HMG, on: Babies in the Mill - "Will the Circle..."

1998 - Sierra Hart - Jackson/Rubio Records, on: Sojourner - "Circle Be Unbroken"

1998 - Loretta Lynn - Madacy, on: All Time Gospel Favorites - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - June Carter Cash - Risk, on: Press On - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - Vassar Clements - 1999 - Bottom Line Records, on: Bottom Line Encore Collection - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - Jan Harrington & Friends - Nagel Heyer, on: I Feel the Spirit - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - Jesus Loves Me - W.I.T., on: Jesus Loves Me - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - B.B. King - Platinum Disc, on: Soul Gospel, Vol. 3 - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - The Marshall Tucker Band - Beyond, on: Gospel - "Will the Circle..."

1999 - Joe Poovey - 1954-90 - Dragon Street, on: Greatest Grooves - "Will the Circle...!

2000 - Alexis Korner - 80's - Magnum, on: Testament - "Will the Circles..."

2001 - Gone Fishin' Band - Orchard, on: Casting Dreams - "Will the Circle..."

2002 - The Delmore Brothers - ? - King, on: Inducted into the Hall of Fame 2001 - "Will the Circle..."

2002 - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Capitol, on: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume III - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Taj Mahal, Alison Krauss, Doc Watson

2003 - The Bluegrass Boys - Turn Up The Music, Inc., on: Definition of Music: Bluegrass - "Can the Circle..."

2003 - Frantic Flintstones - Feb. 1990-Oct. 1991 - Tombstone, on: Flesh 'N' Fantasy/My Woman Is a Leach - "Will the Circle..."

2003 - Joel Harrison - Jan. 2002-Jan. 2003 - Act, on: Free Country - "Will the Circle..."

2003 - Brennan Leigh Band - GAA, on: Gospel According to Austin: Turn Your Radio On! Live - "Will the Circle..."

2003 - Patrick Park - Badman Recording Co., on: Under the Unminding Skies - "Will the Circle..."

2003 - Randy Travis - Word Distribution, on: Worship & Faith - "Will the Circle..."

2004 - Tugalo Holler - Boogie Fish, on: Lost at Sea - "Will the Circle..."

2004 - Mavis Staples - Alligator, on: Have a Little Faith - "Will the Circle..."

2005 - Bill Anderson - Direct Source, on: I Saw the Light - "Will the Circle..."

2005 - The Band - 1961-68 - EMI, on: A Musical History - "Will the Circle..."

2005 - Merle Travis - ? - Direct Source, on: Country Hit Parade - "Will the Circle..."

2006 - Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise - Dec. 31, 2005 - Bloomington IN - Kufala, on: What About That: New Year's Eve in Bloomington - "Will the Circle..."

2006 - Roscoe Chenier - Feb. 2006 - Black & Tan Records, on: Waiting for My Tomorrow - "Will the Circle..."

2006 - Tompall Glaser - Bear Family, on: My Notorious Youth: Hillbilly Central #1 - "Will the Circle..."

2006 - Ricky Traywick - Lamon Records, on: Someday Soon - "Will the Circle..."

2007 - Alabama - RCA, on: Songs of Inspiration, Vol. 2 - "Will the Circle..."

2007 - Joanne Cash - Acme/Mission House, on: Gospel - "Will the Circle..."

2007 - Dave Moody - Lamon Records, on: Feels Like Home - "Will the Circle..."

2007 - John Statz - on: Our Love Was Made for Canada - "Can the Circle..."

2008 - Kim Collingsworth - Crossroads, on: Personal - "Will the Circle..."

2008 - Julian Fauth - Electro-Fi, on: Ramblin Son - "Will the Circle..."

2008 - Preacher Jack - 1982-96 - Cow Island, on: Tales from Life's Other Side - "Will the Circle..."

2008 - Mavis Staples - Anti, on: Live: Hope At the Hideout - "Will the Circle..."

2009 - Exit 9 - Leap Records, on: Lemongrass - "Will the Circle..."

2009 - Mike Farris - Oct 19,-Nov 16, 2008 - INO Records, on: Shout! Live - "Will the Circle..."

2009 - Hans Theessink, Terry Evans, Donovan, Sean Cannon - Vienna A (Metropol) - April 5/6, 2008 - Blue Groove, on: Birthday Bash

2015 - Pops Staples - 1998 - dBpm, on: Don't Lose This - Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Cleotha Staples, Yvonne Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy - "Will the Circle..."

TOP

... and further vocal and instrumental versions...

 

Alexander, Charles M.: Alexander's Gospel Songs. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company

There are loved ones in the glory
Whose dear forms you often miss.
When you close your earthly story,
Will you join them in their bliss?

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?

In the joyous days of childhood
Oft they told of wondrous love
Pointed to the dying Saviour;
Now they dwell with Him above.

(Chorus)

You remember songs of heaven
Which you sang with childish voice.
Do you love the hymns they taught you,
Or are songs of earth your choice?

(Chorus)

You can picture happy gath'rings
Round the fireside long ago,
And you think of tearful partings
When they left you here below.

(Chorus)

One by one their seats were emptied.
One by one they went away.
Now the family is parted.
Will it be complete one day?

(Chorus)

Version Carter Family:
I was standing by the window
On one cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away.

Can the circle be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

Lord, I told the undertaker:
"Undertaker, please drive slow
For this body you are taking
Lord, I hate to see her go".

Can the circle be unbroken...

I followed close behind her,
Tried to hold up and be brave.
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave.

Can the circle be unbroken...

Went back home, Lord, my home was lonesome
Since my mother she was gone
All my brothers and sisters crying,
What a home, so sad and lone

Can the circle be unbroken...