Leaving of Liverpool
Forebitter and Capstan Shanty
Farewell to you, my own true love,
For I’m sailing far away,
I am bound for Valparaiso,
And I know that I’ll be back some day (Chorus)
So fare thee well, my own true love,
For when I return, united we will be,
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
But my darlin’ when I think of thee.
I’m bound to California,
By way of ol’ Cape Horn,
And I bet that I will curse the day
And the hour that I was born. (Chorus)
I have shipped on a Yankee sailing ship,
Davy Crockett is her name,
And Burgess in the captain of her,
And they say that she’s a floating shame. (Chorus)
‘Tis me second passage with ol’ Burgess,
And I think I knows him well.
If a man’s a sailor, he can get along,
But if not, he’s sure in hell. (Chorus)
Oh, the sun is on the harbor, love,
And I wish I could remain,
For I know it will be a long, long time,
Before I see you again. (Chorus)
We were first exposed to this song at the sea shanty sing-outs hosted by David HB Drake at the old terminal building where the Discovery World Museum now stands. The song book that he used was collected by a former band-mate of his and it has since been passed down to a whole new Milwaukee-based sea shanty sing-out group run by Sarah Warran.
We have dear friends in England who treat this song very reverently. We … don’t. This has been a long-time comedy, audience interaction piece for us. We’re not sure how we’re going to work this out!