Give Us a Tune: “Fare Thee Well My Dearest Dear”

Traditional Lyric


Fare thee well, my dearest dear, fare thee well, adieu,
For I must go to sea for the sake of you.
Love, bear a patient heart, for you must bear the smart,
Since you and I must part, my turtle dove.

“You’ll have silver and bright gold, houses and land,
What more can you desire, love? Don’t complain.
And jewels to your hand, and maids at your command,
But you must think of me when I am gone.”

“Your gold shall count as dust when that you are fled,
Your absence proves me lost and strikes me dead.
And when you are from home, your servants I’ll have none.
I’ll rather live alone than in company.”

So nimbly then she’s dressed all in man’s attire,
All for to go to sea was her heart’s desire.
She cut her lovely hair, and no mistrust was there
That she a maiden were, all at the time.

To Venice we were bound with our hearts’ content,
No thought of ship being wrecked, away we went.
From London but one day, our ship was cast away,
Which caused our lives to lay in discontent.

For our ship was cast away, misfortune it did frown,
For I did swim to shore but she was drowned.

More about this ballad at https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/faretheewellmydearestdear.html

Read More about British Folk Music
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