I'll Fly Away
"I'll Fly Away" is a hymn written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley and was first published in 1932 by the Hartford Music Company. Frequently played in worship services and at funerals, many consider "I'll Fly Away" as an unofficial New Orleans anthem.
Background and performance tips on
"I'll Fly away"
By mark braud
“I’ll Fly Away” is a hymn that is frequently played at New Orleans jazz funerals. It was originally written as a ballad by Albert Brumley in 1932. The song, like many hymns, has found its way into many genres of music, from country to gospel to New Orleans traditional jazz.
The New Orleans brass band tradition has reinterpreted the song as an uptempo celebratory hymn. New Orleans funerals, like many other cultures’ funerals, have separate themes—mourning and a joyous send-off. “I’ll Fly Away” is that optimistic song that is played to celebrate the good life the deceased had on Earth and as an upbeat reflection, joyously wishing that the spirit has moved on to a better place.
I recommend listening to the Treme Brass Band from the self-titled album The Treme Brass Band (see above video). Uncle Lionel’s vocal interpretation truly conveys the message of the song.