“Napoleon's Farewell to Paris”


"Farewell ye splendid citadel, metropolis called Paris...." "My name is Napoleon Bonaparte, the conqueror of nations... But now I am transported to Saint Helena's isle." Bonaparte recalls his greatness and laments his fall


The rather ornate language of this song (references to "citadels" and "bright Phoebus," etc.) seems to have caused it to be rather liable to corruption; Gardner and Chickering's text, for instance, has the first line read "Come all ye splendid city dells"! Creighton comments on the difficulty her informant had in learning the song, and prints part of a broadside text to show why he had such difficulty. - RBW

The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:

Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001)) - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(2602), "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris," T. Birt (London), 1833-1841; also Harding B 20(267), Harding B 15(214b), Johnson Ballads fol. 59, Harding B 16(165c), Firth c.16(87), Harding B 11(2600), Harding B 11(2601), Firth c.26(124), "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris"; Harding B 11(2599), "Napoleon's Farewell"
  • Murray, Mu23-y1:043, "Napoleon Bonaparte," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C; also Mu23-y1:107, "Napoleon Bonaparte"
  • NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(139), "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris," unknown, c.1818


  1. Moylan 186, "I Am Napoleon Bonaparte" (1 text, 1 tune); 187, "Napoleon Bonaparte's Farewell to Paris" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Gardner/Chickering 89, "Bony's Lament" (1 text)
  3. Greenleaf/Mansfield 82, "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris" (1 fragment)
  4. Creighton-NovaScotia 72, "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris" (1 fragmentary text plus some variants, 1 tune)
  5. Peacock, pp. 1009-1011, "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Roud #1626
  8. BI, GC089


Alternate titles: “Napoleon Bonaparte”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1842 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(2602)); c.1818 (broadside, NLScotland L.C.Fol.70(139))
Keywords: exile lament Napoleon
Found in: US(MW) Canada(Newf) Ireland