Nova Scotia Farewell

In the summer of 1968 I heard Ian & Sylvia perform this song at Ravina, an outdoor theater north of Chicago (Highland Park - I think).  It took us more than 30 years to come up with an arrangement which could equal theirs. 

Albums: One More Song/Theiss & O'Connor;  Northern Journey/Ian & Sylvia;  The First Ten Years/Schooner Fare;  From the Archives/Tommy Makem

The sun was setting in the west
The birds were singing on every tree
All nature seemed inclined for a rest
But still there was no rest for me.

Refrain:    Farewell to Nova Scotia the sea bound coast
                Let your mountains dark and dreary be
                For when I am far away on the briny ocean tossed
                Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

I grieved to leave my native land
I grieved to leave my comrades all
And my aged parents whom I always felt so dear
And the bonnie, bonnie lass I do adore.


The drums do beat and the wars do alarm
The captain calls we must obey
So farewell, farewell to Nova Scotia's charms
For it's early in the morning I am Far, far away.


I have three brothers and they are dressed
Their arms are folded on their chest
But a pure simple sailor just like me
Must be tossed and driven on the dark blue sea.