DESCRIPTION: The singer bids "Fare thee well, cold winter, and fare thee well cold frost. Nothing have I gained, but a lover I have lost...." After seeing him with another girl, she swears off of him, "He's no lad for windy weather; let him go then; farewell he"
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
KEYWORDS: courting farewell abandonment
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South)) US(Ap,MA,So) Ireland
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 40, "Farewell He" (2 texts)
Purslow-TheConstantLovers, p. 32, "Farewell He" (1 composite text, 1 tune)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #80, "Fare Thee Well, Cold Winter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brocklebank/Kindersley-DorsetBookOfFolkSongs, p. 16, "Farewell He" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 491-492, "Adieu to Cold Weather" (1 text plus mention of 2 more)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 41, "My Love Is Like a Dewdrop" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 751, "Adieu to Dark Weather" (6 texts plus an excerpt, 5 tunes, all more or less related to this piece, though some are rather mixed; some of the texts reverse the male and female roles and some have a chorus)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 491-493, "Adieu to Dark Weather" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 751A)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 42, "Farewell He" (1 text); 43, "My Love Is on the Ocean" (1 text)
Combs/Wilgus-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernUnitedStates 179, pp. 146-147, "To Cheer the Heart" (1 text)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #58, "They Say He Courts Another" (1 short text, too brief to really classify, but some of the words go here)
Carey-MarylandFolkLegendsAndFolkSongs, p. 98, "My Love Is on the Ocean" (1 text)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H504, p. 347, "Farewell He" (1 text, 1 tune); compare also H241, p. 346, "The Blackbird and Thrush" (1 text, 1 tune)
Graham-Joe-Holmes-SongsMusicTraditionsOfAnUlsterman 53, "My Love Is on the Ocean" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-TraditionalSingersAndSongsFromOntario 44, "I Once Loved a Lass" (1 text, 1 tune, from LaRena (Mrs. Gordon) Clark, which begins with verses probably from "The False Bride (The Week Before Easter; I Once Loved a Lass," continues with stanzas from "Green Grows the Laurel (Green Grow the Lilacs)," then has a "My love is like a dewdrop" stanza often found in "Farewell He," and includes several other lyrics that might have floated in)
DT, FAREWELH* (RONDHAT5* -- a mixed version also incorporating "All Around My Hat")
Roud #803 plus 3729, 1034
cf. "Dark and Dreary Weather" (stanza form, floating lyrics)
cf. "I've Two or Three Strings To My Bow" (subject)
cf. "Love Me or No" (subject)
cf. "The Blackbird and Thrush" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Wounded Spirit" (subject)
cf. "Parting Words" (subject)
cf. "There Comes a Fellow with a Derby Hat" (subject)
cf. "Oh, Where Is My Sweetheart?" (subject)
cf. "Like an Owl in the Desert" (subject)
cf. "I'll Cheer Up My Heart" (subject)
cf. "The Days Are Awa That I Hae Seen" (subject)
cf. "It is Not the Cold Wind" (theme)
cf. "My Heart Is As Licht As a Feather" (theme)
cf. "The Bonnie Boy I Loved" (theme)
cf. "Sweethearts I've Got Plenty" (theme)
cf. "Now My Love's Forsaken Me" (theme)
cf. "Adieu, False Heart" (theme)
Fare Thee Well Cold Winter
NOTES [236 words]: Cohen seems to think that the Ozark versions of this piece, known from Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety and Randolph, are a separate song, and it is possible that he's right and that it simply swallowed elements of "Farewell He." But since the swallowing was nearly complete, it seems better to lump them. In this, unusually, I agree with Roud.
The situation is similar with Gardner and Chickering: Their "My Love Is on the Ocean" has distinct first and last stanzas:
My love is on the ocean, O let him sink or swim,
For in how own mind he thinks he's better than I am.
He think that he can slide me as he slided two or three,
But I'll give him back the mitten since he's gone back on me.
Go tell it to his mother; I set her heart at ease.
I hear she is a lady that's very hard to please.
I hear that she speaks of me that's hardly ever done.
Go tell it to her, I do not want her son!
It will be evident, however, that this text fits the tune of "Farewell He," and the material in between, including the chorus, is "Farewell He." Indeed, of Gardner and Chickering's texts, the one they call "Farewell He" actually looks less like the song of that title, except that it uses that key phrase!
So, once again, I lump (this time disagreeing with Roud).
The whole family cold probably use a thorough study, including both these songs, the Ozark versions, and "Dark and Dreary Weather." - RBW
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