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Farewell Shanty

[ Roud - ; DT FAREWELS ; Mudcat 18455 , 149625 ; trad., Mervyn Vincent]

Johnny Collins and Friends sang Farewell Shanty in 1973 on their Traditional Sound Recording album The Traveller’s Rest. This track was also included in 1998 on his Fellside anthology The Best of the Early Years. Collins with Dave Webber and Pete Watkinson sang Farewell Shanty on their 1996 album Shanties & Songs of the Sea. He noted:

A beautiful song with which to finish an evening. Found in an old song book by Mervyn Vincent of Padstow and given a new lease of life by Alan Molyneaux at the Breakwater Club, Plymouth, where I learnt it.

Brenda Wootton and Robert Bartlett sang Farewell Shanty in 1975 on their Sentinel album Starry-Gazey Pie. They noted:

Mervyn Vincent from St. Issy and Alan Molyneux from Plymouth are largely responsible for the revival of this lovely West Country shanty. Mervyn found it in an old book on boat-building and it later served as the closing song at Alan’s Breakwater Club in Plymouth.

Derek Gifford sang Farewell Shanty on his 1991 Fellside cassette A Mixed Case.

Oysterband and guests with John Jones in lead sang The Cornish Farewell Shanty live on 18-20 May 2004 with a small audience at Bush Hall, London. This recording was released in the same year on their Westpark album The Big Session Volume 1. A demo recording of The Cornish Farewell Shanty was included in 2016 on their best-of album This House Will Stand.

The Unthanks sang Farewell Shanty on their 2020 album Diversions Vol. 5: Live and Unaccompanied which was recorded at UK and Ireland live shows in April to May 2019.

Ninebarrow sang Farewell Shanty on their 2021 album A Pocket Full of Acorns. This video shows them at Bournemouth Folk Club in February 2015:


Johnny Collins sings Farewell Shanty

It is time to go now
Haul away your anchor.
Haul away your anchor,
’Tis our sailing time.

Get some sail upon her,
Haul away your halyards.
Haul away your halyards,
’Tis our sailing time.

Get her on her course now,
Haul away your fore-sheets.
Haul away your fore-sheets,
’Tis our sailing time.

Waves are surging under,
Haul away down channel.
Haul away down channel,
On the evening tide.

When my days are over,
Haul away to heaven.
Haul away to heaven,
Lord be by my side.