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Treat A Stranger Right

by Moira Smiley and Tonality

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Written by Blind Willie Johnson (1897 - 1945) and originally recorded with Willie B. Harris (April 20, 1930, Atlanta, GA). This adaptation is rooted in Sidney Hemphill Carter rendition, which changed Johnson’s melody but kept the essential text. Hemphill-Carter sang a melody similar to the soprano part in this arrangement. She gave weight and depth to this perfect expression of our innate reliance upon and responsibility to each other.


Chorus x2:
Ev'rybody oughta treat a stranger right (x3)
when they're a long way from home (x2)
When they're a long way, a long way from home.

Be mindful how you're speaking
Be careful how you go along
You must always treat a stranger right, don't insult him in your home,
don't insult him in your home.


Well all of us are strangers,
and we don't always know what's home.
You must never hurt your brother or sister
and cause them to pull their own.



released December 3, 2021
Words and Music By Blind Willie Johnson, Public Domain.
Arranged by Moira Smiley and Alexander Lloyd Blake.
Produced by Moira Smiley. Mixed and Mastered with Dave Weber of Airtime Studios.
Performed by Moira Smiley and members of Tonality:
Hannah Rose Lewis - lead vocals
Supporting voices:
Anna Crumley, Jaquain Sloan, Moira Smiley, Saunder Choi, David Morales


all rights reserved



Moira Smiley Bristol, Vermont

Moira Smiley is a Singer / Composer. Touring & writing with the finest in various worlds of music, she brings clarity and visceral emotion to any song she sings. She accompanies herself on banjo, accordion, piano, and hand & body percussion. She's toured with Tune-Yards and Solas among many others. Moira recently sang with Tune-Yards on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. ... more

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