The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #167789   Message #4050763
Posted By: Gordon Jackson
06-May-20 - 03:25 AM
Thread Name: Tune Req: farewell farewell (Richard Thompson)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: farewell farewell (Richard Thompson)
Farewell, Farewell is a beautiful, mysterious song. Thompson wrote ‘loathe me’, rather than ‘love me’. The tune likely came to RT via Sweeney’s Men’s recording of Willie o Winsbury. However, as pointed out in Leagues O’Toole’s book, The Humours of Planxty, ‘He [Andy Irvine] also sings lead on one of the album’s outstanding tracks, Willy O Winsbury [sic], the words of which were learned from from Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads, and were actually confused with an entirely different air.’

That ‘entirely different air’ was Fause Foodrage (Child no. 89). The can be found in Bronson’s The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, Volume II. Bronson provides three airs. The one closest to Farewell, Farewell, has the title, Eastmuir King (which can also be found in The Harris Repertoire, Lyle et al, 2002), though clearly a version of Fause Foodrage. Of it, Bronson says, ‘[This] form of the ballad bears the look of having been recently re-worked by somebody with pretensions to literary taste.’ Ouch. William Christie, in his 1876 book, Traditional Ballad Airs, says the tune ‘appears to be very ancient’.

I’ve long thought of doing something with this tune, but simply can’t decide whether it would be Fause Foodrage/Eastmuir King or Willie o Winsbury or Farewell, Farewell.