Today's special is more of a song, or hymn, rather than a pure tune.
When Sorrows Encompass Me 'Round
Well, of course, the first name that comes to mind with this title is obviously Tommy Jarrell It appears that most, if not all, of other artists rendition have a direct inspiration from Tommy's playing.
The lyrics to this hymn are attributed to Methodist preacher/poet Caleb Jarvis Taylor. According to a few old sources (ask and I'll send you citations), Rev. Taylor was born in St. Mary's county, Maryland in 1753, spent most of his adult life in Kentucky and Tennessee as a "preacher in the wilderness," and was "naturally gloomy, yet at times possessed a great flow of spirits." In June of 1816, "after a painful illness, he closed his eyes in death." Many of his compositions can be found in the various "shape note" hymnals of the Southern mountains - including "While Sorrows Encompass Me Round" which was written sometime in the 1790s.
Really nice hymn. And great job with all the info and examples. Some of the two-finger stuff is what I've been really wanting to learn lately, so I really appreciate your version with the thumb lead. Thanks.