Young Folk The Leaving of Liverpool

Farewell to Prince's Landing Stage
River Mersey, fare thee well
I am bound for California
A place I know right well

So fare thee well, my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that's grieving me
But my darling when I think of thee

I'm bound off for California
By the way of stormy Cape Horn
And I will write you a letter, my love
When weam homeward bound

I have shipped aboarda Yankee ship
Davy Crockett is her name
And Burgess is the Captain of her
And they say she's a floating shame

I have shipped with Burgess once before
And I think I know him well
If a man's a sailor, he can get along
If not, then his life is a Hell

Farewell to lower Frederick Street
Ensign Terrace and Park Lane
For I think it will be a long, long time
Before I see you again

Oh the sun is on the harbour, love
And I wish I could remain
For I know it will be a long, long time
Till I see you again

W. M. Doerflinger ("Shantymen and Shantyboys," New York 1951) collected this song from an ex-seaman, Dick Maitland, who first heard it in 1885. "I was on deck," says Maitland, "one night, when I heard a Liverpool man singing it in the foc's'le. Yes sir, that song hit the spot." The song is included on a Prestige record of sea songs by A. L. Lloyd and Ewan McColl (both now "up aloft," God rest their souls).


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