“The Parting Glass”


The singer has done some ills and foolish things, but never with ill purpose and only to himself. He misses his girl. He would spend money on good company if he had it. Conclusion: "So fill to me the parting glass, Goodnight and joy be with you all."


This song is lyric enough that it can import elements from almost anywhere; the Sam Henry version, for instance, starts with a verse best known from "The Barnyards o' Delgaty" ("I can drink and no be drunk..."), and also includes a bit of "My Dearest Dear." I suspect there are versions which elaborate on the girl the singer can't have. - RBW

Description from Peacock's version: She hopes he won't go far away. He intends to leave her "when and where all stormy winds blow." She dreams he has been "pressed ... gone on board ... to serve his royal majesty." - BS

Cross references

  • cf. "Over the Hills to My Nanny, O" (tune, per broadsides Bodleian 2806 c.15(114), Bodleian 2806 c.15(13), Bodleian Harding B 19(89))


  • Bodleian, 2806 c.15(114), "The Parting Glass," J.F. Nugent & Co. (Dublin) , 1850-1899; also Harding B 26(498), Harding B 26(499), 2806 c.15(13), Harding B 19(89), "The Parting Glass"


  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "The Parting Glass" (on IRClancyMakem01)


  1. SHenry H769, p. 65, "The Parting Glass" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. OLochlainn 69, "The Parting Glass" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Peacock, pp. 573-574, "The Parting Glass" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. ADDITIONAL: Bell/O Conchubhair, Traditional Songs of the North of Ireland, pp. 82-83, "The Parting Glass" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #3004
  7. BI, HHH769


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1900 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.15(114))
Found in: Ireland Canada(Newf)