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God Be With You Til We Meet Again

The first part of the song can be strummed with the thumb, or even flat-picked, if you like.  Most of the chords are easy, but you're going to have to play the full barre G7III anyway, so you might as well play the F with a full barre too.  If you try to substitute a regular G7, the melody will seem to go down when it's supposed to go up.  If you're only strumming accompaniment, that may be OK, but it's no good for a solo.

The second part of the song is the chorus, and is played very differently, with lots of single notes, and a few ligados, but I've tried to keep it pretty simple.  There are a few "extra" notes, which are mostly inserted to help with the timing, and for emphasis.

This tab is pretty basic, to give you an idea how the melody and supporting chord structure go.  You can easily fancy it up yourself, adding pinches, hammer-ons, etc. wherever it sounds good to you.  I never play it the same way twice.

Of it's composition history, the lyricist, Jeremiah E. Rankin wrote:
Written…as a Christian good-bye, it was called forth by no per­son or oc­ca­sion, but was de­lib­er­ate­ly com­posed as a Christ­ian hymn on the ba­sis of the ety­mol­o­gy of “good-bye,” which is “God be with you.” The first stan­za was writ­ten and sent to two com­pos­ers—one of un­u­su­al note, the other whol­ly un­known and not tho­rough­ly ed­u­cat­ed in mu­sic. I se­lect­ed the com­po­si­tion of the lat­ter, sub­mit­ted it to J. W. Bischoff—the mu­sic­al di­rect­or of a lit­tle book we were pre­par­ing—who ap­proved of it, but made some cri­ti­cisms, which were adopt­ed. It was sung for the first time one ev­en­ing in the First Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Wash­ing­ton, of which I was then the pas­tor and Mr. Bis­choff the org­an­ist. I at­trib­ut­ed its pop­u­lar­i­ty in no lit­tle part to the mu­sic to which it was set. It was a wed­ding of words and mu­sic, at which it was my func­tion to pre­side; but Mr. To­mer [William G. Tomer, the composer] should have his full share of the fam­i­ly hon­or.

This song was first published in 1880, and has since been translated into just about any language you could wish, including Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic.  It's the only religious song I know of that's sung by Christians, Muslims and Jews, making it one of a handful of songs with universal appeal.

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