Skip to content

Farewell, Dear Friends

From Sam Hazel, Mississippi

Sam Hazel learned this song on Ohio River steamboats working between Louisville, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana.

Source: Recorded in 1939 by Herbert Halpert under joint sponsorship of the Library of Congress and the WPA. Recording now held by the Archive of Folk Culture at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. AFS 3096 B2.

  1. Farewell, dear friends, I’m bound for to leave you
    Perhaps you’ll miss me when I’m gone.
  2. Here’s a ring, love, please accept it
    Oh put it on your finger fair
    And when I’m gone and quite forgotten
    Look on this ring, love, and I’ll be there.
  3. Now some will say this boy’s in danger
    And others will say he’s been gone too long
    And others will say it’s some bad action
    Has caused this boy so far from home.
  4. I thank the Lord I never did harm you
    Neither did I wish you any harm
    So as it is I’ll freely spend it
    So merry I go marchin’ on.
  5. I wish I was a little sparrow
    Or had the wings of a turtle dove
    I’d fly away from the land of sorrow
    And settle down with the girl I love.
  6. I’d ask her who she wanted to marry
    Or who it was that she wanted to see
    All in her bosom I would flutter
    All with my little tender wing.
  7. But alas I’m not a tiny sparrow
    Nor have I wings of a turtle dove
    So Lord I’ll sit and sing in sorrow
    I’ll weep and pass my troubles by.
  8. Farewell, dear friends, I’m bound for to leave you
    Perhaps you’ll miss me when I’m gone.
Lyrics from the recording:
Scroll To Top