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Farewell Lovely Mary
(Laws K14; Roud 527)
John Lyons
Newmarket-on-Fergus
Recorded London, April 1974

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

John Lyons

Faretheewell lovely Mary, I’m going to leave you.
To the East or West Indies, my long course to steer.
For although we are parted, I’ll be true and loyal-hearted,
And when we meet again love, we will talk on old times.

Let not my long absence bring sorrow on you love.
Or any false notion come into your mind.
If there be any breezes, or stormy winds blowing,
I’ll be there by your side love, to obey your command.

Let not my long absence bring sorrow on you love.
Or any strange notion come into your mind.
For although we are parted, we’ll be true and loyal-hearted,
And when I will return love, we will talk of old times.

'I’ll dress as a sailor, and come along with you,
In the midst of all dangers by your side I will stand.
If there be any breezes, or stormy winds blowing,
I’ll be there by your side love, to obey your command.'

Your neat little hands love these strong cables cannot handle.
Your tiny little feet love to the top mast will not go.
Your delicate frail body the rough weather won’t endure love.
Stay at home lovely Mary, to the seas do not go.

Now the ship she is sailing, with Mary sadly wailing.
Her red rosy cheeks now are as white as the snow,
Her gay-golden locks now, she’s continually tearing,
Saying, 'I’ll sigh till I die love, shall I ne’er see you more?'


John Lyons spoke after singing the song:
"Faretheewell Lovely Mary – I got that song from Mrs Sullivan of Ennis about ten years ago. She had some nice songs, the same woman."

"Colm O Lochlainn includes this in 'More Irish Street Ballads' under the title 'Farewell Dearest Nancy'. English collector Henry Hammond wrote about a similar version to this entitled 'Farewell Lovely Nancy' which he found in Hampshire:

'The song seems to be a rewrite of an Irish song called "Adieu, Lovely Mary", which appears in Joyce's "Ancient Music of Ireland" to the same tune.'"
Jim Carroll


See also
Farewell Lovely Mary sung by Nora Cleary
Farewell Lovely Mary sung by Austin Flanagan


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