For his A Folk Song a Day project, Jon Boden chose "Farewell to Old Bedford" as the song for November 28.
The song's in the Digital Tradition (as collected by Frank Warner from Lee Monroe Presnell at Beech Mountain, North Carolina - a long way from Bedford, Massachusetts), but there has been no discussion of this song. Anybody have anything to add?
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:
Farewell to Old BedfordDESCRIPTION: "Farewell to old Bedford, I'm bound for to leave you. Likewise those pretty girls I nevermore shall see." The singer has been forced away by his parents, and intends to "drown away sorrows in a bottle of wine" and ignore his troubles
EARLIEST DATE: 1951 (Warner)
KEYWORDS: family drink exile travel rambling
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Warner 99, "Farewell to Old Bedford" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST Wa099 (Full)
Lee Monroe Presnell, "Farewell to Old Bedford" (on USWarnerColl01)
cf. "Farewell Lovely Nancy" (meter)
cf. "Adieu to Bon County" (floating lyrics)
Notes: I have to suspect that this is a worn-down, possibly reworked, version of something else (e.g. "Farewell, Charming Nancy") -- but I can't identify with any real probability what the original song was. It may well go back to the same ancestor as "Adieu to Bon County," but there has been a lot of drift in between. - RBW
The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.
Supplement entry: From Anne Warner, Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne & Frank Warner Collection, #99, pp. 244-245. From the singing of Lee Monroe Presnell of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Collected 1951. (identical to the lyrics in the Digital Tradition)
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