“Farewell, Sweetheart (The Parting Lovers, The Slighted Sweetheart)”


"Farewell, sweetheart, so fare you well, You've slighted me, but I wish you well... I wouldn't serve you as you've serve well." The singer claims "You are my love till I am dead," and says "I still love you, God knows I do." He prepares to die for love

Supplemental text

Farewell, Sweetheart (The Parting Lovers, The Slighted Sweetheart)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Harvey H. Fuson, Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands, pp. 75-76.
"From singing of Mary Carr."

My dearest love, now fare you well,
You slighted me, but I wish you well;
You turned me away, you broke my heart,
But how can I from you depart?

My own true-love, my turtle dove,
I hope we will meet in the world above;
And if on earth you never more I see,
I would not treat you as you have me.

So after death I will go home,
And think of me when you are alone;
And as you pass my lonesome grave,
Look at the tombstone where I am laid.

(Stanzas 1, 2, 6 of 8.)


The Brown versions of this instantly made me think of "The Butcher Boy." They aren't really the same song; none of the Brown versions mention suicide or pregnancy. But several of the texts have picked up lyrics from that ballad -- or, perhaps, were adapted from it in an attempt to clean up the song. The whole thing is quite commonplace, even cliched.

I'm not sure why the editors of Brown split the "Slighted Sweetheart" text from the others; they have the same plot and the same first lines. Perhaps just a failure to notice their identity? - RBW

Cross references


  1. Randolph 756, "Farewell, Sweetheart" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fuson, pp. 75-76, "The Parting Lovers" (1 text)
  3. BrownII 167, "My Little Dear, So Fare You Well" (3 texts plus mention of 2 more)
  4. BrownIII 261, "The Slighted Sweetheart" (1 text)
  5. ST R756 (Partial)
  6. Roud #7398 and 11422
  7. BI, R756


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1912 (Brown)
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So)