"Leaving of Liverpool", (Roud 9435), also known as
"Fare Thee Well, My Own True Love", is a folk ballad, a
popular and wistful song. The song's narrator laments
his long sailing trip to America and the thought of
leaving his birthplace and loved ones (especially his
"own true love"). Liverpool was the natural point of
embarkation because it had the necessary shipping lines
and a choice of destinations and infrastructure,
including special emigration trains directly to The
Prince's Landing Stage (which is mentioned in the
song's first line).
It was collected as a sailor's song, but noted only
twice: from the Americans Richard Maitland and Captain
Patrick Tayluer. Maitland learned it from a Liverpool
man on board the General Knox around 1885. It was
collected from him by Bill Doerflinger, an American
folk-song collector particularly associated with
sea-songs, in New York.
Although originally written for folk Instruments, I
arranged this piece for Edith and Dirk from the
Antwerpen Harmonie using Flute & Bassoon.