“Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone, / And leave you for a while…”

      Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone,
      And leave you for a while;
      If I roam away I’ll come back again,
      Though I roam ten thousand miles, my dear,
      Though I roam ten thousand miles.
      So fair thou art, my bonny lass,
      So deep in love am I;
      But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
      Till the stars fall from the sky, my dear,
      Till the stars fall from the sky.
      The sea will never run dry, my dear,
      Nor the rocks melt with the sun,
      But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
      Till all these things be done, my dear,
      Till all these things be done.
      O yonder doth sit that little turtle dove,
      He doth sit on yonder high tree
      A-making a moan for the loss of his love,
      As I will do for thee, my dear,
      As I will do for thee.”

 

The Turtle Dove is one of my favourite English folksongs – a haunting melody that often hangs with me for days, especially at times of loss or sadness. It needn’t be, as the text states, the loss of a lover – just a mood…

The Vaughan-Williams setting is particularly moving, and I do have a favourite Aunty who has performed it… 😉

Astra Da Costa
Astra Da Costa

Thinking of Aunty Astra. Thinking of how she voiced the narration that introduced this song and all the songs on Marionettes Independence performance (A Gift to the Nation, 1987), a production – like many subsequent – she produced personally. Going to put some of those bits up on the websites once I get home in December.

Wishing I could be home for the funeral tomorrow. Noting the irony that I’m here in London because she helped me get the scholarship to come study.

Thinking. Missing. Honouring. Remembering.

“Fare you well”, Aunty. Thank-you for all you shared with us in your time here. Safe journey homeward. All my love to you, and gentlest hugs, thoughts and prayers across the waters to the family, friends and colleagues who loved you.

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