Tune of the Day: The Leaving of Liverpool
In this traditional song, which folklorists classify as a lyric lament, the narrator laments his long sailing trip to California and the thought of leaving his “own true love”, and pledges to return to her one day. Very well known in Britain, Ireland, and America, the song was also used as a sea shanty, especially at the capstan.
“The Leaving of Liverpool” has been recorded by many popular folk singers and groups since the 1950s, including The Clancy Brothers, The Corries, The Dubliners, and The Pogues. It has also been adapted by several artists, most notably Bob Dylan (“Farewell”, 1963). Tom Paxton used the tune as a basis for “The Last Thing on My Mind”, which has been recorded by many artists.
Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!