Farewell Song

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This traditional folk song wasfirst performed by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. It was originally recorded by Burnett as "Farewell Song" printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, c.1913; it is unclear whether Burnett himself wrote the song; the melody (Charles Wolfe argues) is probably based on an old Baptist hymn.


I am a man of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days
I bid farewell to old Kentucky
The state where I was borned and raised

For six long years I've been in trouble
No pleasure here on earth I find
For in this world I'm bound to ramble
I have no friends to help me now

The Soggy Bottom Boys, singing Man of Constant Sorrow in the Coen brothers film, "O Brother Where Art Thou?".

It's fare thee well my own true lover
I never expect to see you again
For I'm bound to ride that northern railroad
Perhaps I'll die upon this train

You can bury me in some deep valley
For many years where I may lay
Then you may learn to love another
While I am sleeping in my grave

It's fare you well to a native country
The places I have loved so well
For I have seen all kinds of trouble
In this cruel world, no tongue can tell

Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger
My face you'll never see no more
But there is one promise that is given
I'll meet you on God's golden shore