DESCRIPTION: Bonaparte bids farewell to France which has abandoned him because of its weakness: "Decay'd in thy glory and sunk in thy worth!" "But when Liberty rallies Once more in thy regions, remember me then ... and call on the Chief of thy choice"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1865 (broadside, LOCSinging as200400 and Bodleian Harding B 18(52))
KEYWORDS: freedom Napoleon
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Moylan-TheAgeOfRevolution-1776-1815 208, "Bonaparte's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #174, p. 13, "Bonaparte's Farewell" (1 reference)
Bodleian, Harding B 18(52), "Bonaparte's Farewell," H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864 [same as LOCSinging, as200400]; also Harding B 18(593) [yet another copy of the same sheet]
LOCSinging, as200400, "Bonaparte's Farewell," H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864 [same as Bodleian, Harding B 18(52)]
cf. "Captain O'Kean" (tune, per broadsides LOCSinging as200400 and Bodleian Harding B 18(52))
NOTES [150 words]: This song has absolutely no historical references; the only proper noun in the whole song is "France." Theoretically, the speaker might not even be Napoleon -- though the bombast fits him. The only specific reference is that a diadem crowned him -- more relevant to a parvenu emperor than to the legitimate Bourbons, but Bourbon *could* have said such a thing.
Still, Napoleon seems to be the intended speaker. It sounds like something he would have said before his exile to Elba (1814), rather than the exile to St. Helena (1815). This because, in 1813-1814, Paris and the government actually voted him out of power. In 1815, there wasn't time for any of that. - RBW
Broadsides LOCSinging as200400 and Bodleian Harding B 18(52): H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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