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There is also a reworked version of this song, using the same music and the same verse structure but with different verse lyrics and slightly different Chorus, using 'Can' instead of 'will', called "Can the Circle be Unbroken" written by A. P. Carter, intended as a funeral hymn. That version has often been recorded as "Will the Circle be Unbroken", including the 1972 performance by Mother Maybelle Carter and ensemble on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album of the same title. Almost all cover versions of the song use a straight 4/4 meter throughout, while the Carter Family recording from 1927 uses bars of 3/4 near the end of each verse and twice in the chorus.
The original version of the song does not insert "Lord" in lines 2 and 4 of the chorus though the Carter version does. Also, the third line of the chorus is phrased as a question in the original, but as a declarative sentence in the Carter version. (from Wikipedia)