Lyrics

Farewell to Princes' landing stage
River Mersey fare thee well
I am bound for California
A place I know right well

So fare thee well my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me
But my darling when I think of thee

Farewell to Lower Frederick Street
Anson Terrace and Park Lane
I am bound away for to leave you
And I'll never see you again

So fare thee well my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me
But my darling when I think of thee

I am bound for California
By way of stormy Cape Horn
And I will write to thee a letter, love
When I am homeward bound

So fare thee well my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me
But my darling when I think of thee

I've shipped on a Yankee clipper ship
"Davy Crockett" is her name
And Burgess is the captain of her
And they say that she's a floating hell

So fare thee well my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me

I have sailed with Burgess once before
I think I know him well
If a man's a sailor he will get along
If not then he's sure in hell

So fare thee well my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me
But my darling when I think of thee
But my darling when I think of thee

This is an English Ballad popular also in Ireland. It is a song of lament at having to emigrate to America and leave the place of our birth and loved ones. Originally collected from Dick Maitland, ex-seaman, by W M Doerflinger, who published text and tune in "Shantymen And Shantyboys". Ewan MacColl was instrumental in popularising this song on the folk scene.

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