“Homeward Bound (I)”


Shanty. Characteristic line: "Goodbye, fare you well, goodbye, fare you well... Hurrah, my boys, we're homeward bound." While the rest of the shanty usually tells a story about sailors' return, the stanzas are often compiled from floating verses


Horace Beck in his book _Folklore and the Sea_ (Mystic Conn.: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1985), p. 137, explains that this chanty was sung by British sailors as they "walked the capstan round" bound for home. Other ships hearing this would give them mail and messages to take with them. On American ships "Shenandoah" was sung instead. - SH

Cross references


  • Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "Homeward Bound" (on ENMacCollSeeger02)
  • Capt. Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Goodbye, Fare You Well (Homeward Bound)" (AFS 4229 A, 1939; on LC27 as "Homeward Bound"; in AMMEM/Cowell)
  • W[illiam] H. Smith, "Goodbye, Fare You Well" (on NovaScotia1)


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 87-89, "Homeward Bound" (3 texts, 1 tune. The first text is largely "Outward and Homeward Bound"; the third partakes of "Rolling in the Dew" and "Ratcliffe Highway"")
  2. Bone, p. 117, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Colcord, pp. 113-114, "Good-bye, Fare You Well!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Harlow, pp. 119-121, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Hugill, pp. 120-124, "Goodbye, Fare-Ye-Well" (8 texts-5 English, 2 Norwegian, 1 French, 2 tunes. Version c's verses are from "Blow the Man Down," version d's are from "The Dreadnaught") [AbEd, pp. 103-106]
  6. Shay-SeaSongs, p. 85, "Goodbye, Fare You Well" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Linscott, pp. 140-141, "Homeward Bound" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  8. Doyle2, pp. 63, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Doyle3, p. 29, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Greenleaf/Mansfield 165, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Blondahl, p. 23, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Smith/Hatt, p. 34, "Goodbye, Fare Ye Well" (1 text)
  13. Creighton-NovaScotia 37, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Mackenzie 103, "We're Homeward Bound" (1 text)
  15. SHenry H53a, p. 97, "I'm Going Home" (1 text, 1 tune - a fragment, probably of this song)
  16. DT, GDBYFWL*
  17. ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). We're Homeward Bound" is in Part 4, 8/4/1917.
  18. Roud #927
  19. BI, Doe087


Alternate titles: “Goodbye, Fare You Well”; “Ved Ankerhioning (Anchor Song) [Norwegian versio]”; “As-tu-connu le Pere Lancelot [French version]”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1845 (from the log of the Minerva)
Keywords: shanty reunion
Found in: US(MA) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England)