“Fare Thee Well, Babe”


"Fare thee well, O Babe, fare thee well (x2), I done all I could do try'n to git along with you." The singer declares he loves the woman, but "Fo' I'll be mistreated I'll kill myself an' you." He maintains he treated her well but she didn't want him


This is one of those songs that illustrates Laws's comments about the instability of Black balladry. This may well be a version of something else -- but between the floating lines, the repetitions, the common plot, and the fact that the Lomaxes are always fiddling with texts, I can't be sure of the original song.

It reminds me a bit of "Going Down This Road Feeling Bad," but the motivation is different. - RBW


  1. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 204-205, "Fare Thee Well, Babe" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #15576
  3. BI, LxA204


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934
Found in: US