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Adieu to Old England

[ Roud - ; Mudcat 7339 ; words Gregg Butler, music Chris Pollington]

Strawhead’s Gregg Butler wrote Adieu to Old England in 1983 and Chris Pollington set it to his tune. They sang it on their 1984 Traditional Sound Recordings album of “tales of the Elizabethan adventures”, Gentlemen of Fortune.


Strawhead sing Adieu to Old England

So merrily we landed upon this alien strand
So steadfastly we set our new homes in this new found land
So resolutely gathered summers fruit braved winters chill
But now as spring fast fades our hearts with apprehension fill

Chorus (after each verse):
To our dear England we bade adieu
Sailed westward bravely we gallant few
Now here abandoned on a foreign shore
Our hope dies never we’ll see thee more

For varied wants we sent the word back to old England’s might
To better till the soil and plant and thus maintain our right
Full ten long months ago our ships sails left our longing view
Our anxious watch now hopeless fades our fate in dread we rue

Oh England how could you abandon thus your own true sons
Your husbands wives and daughters all we thought your chosen ones
Chosen to plant your steadfast seed deep in Virginia’s soil
But now by negligence betrayed with quaking hearts we toil

Alas too few too ill equipped without support to thrive
Our parlous state we plainly see and think not to survive
Another year oh where’s the ship they promised soon to send
And failing by men’s greed its lack has brought us to our end

Goodbye forever England that we left with hopes so brave
Goodbye to you that scorned us left us helpless ’cross the wave
We die unsung neglected in this thrice-accursed land
We die reproachful and denied a parent’s helping hand