“The Wyandotte's Farewell Song”


The singer sadly bids farewell to his ancestral home and prepares to head west. Various familiar scenes -- trees, streams, roads, church -- are fondly recalled

Supplemental text

Wyandotte's Farewell Song, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #117, pp. 264-265.
From Eunice Lea Ketterling, Ashland, Ohio.

1. Adieu to the graves where my fathers now rest!
      For I must be going afar to the West;
   I've sold my possessions, my heart's filled with wore,
      To think I must leave them. Alas! I must go.

2. Farewell, ye tall oaks, in whose pleasant green shade
      In childhood I rambled, in innocence played;
   My dog and my hatchet, my arrows and bow,
      Are still in remembrance. Alas! I must go.

3. Adieu, ye loved scenes which bind me like chains,
      Where on my gay pony I chased o'er the plains;
   The deer and the turkey I tracked in the snow,
      But now I must leave them. Alas! I must go.

4. Adieu to the trails which for many a year
      I have traveled to spy out the turkey and deer;
   The hills, trees, and flowers that pleased me so
      I must leave now forever. Alas! I must go.

5. Sandusky, Tymocktee, and Brockensword streams
      Nevermore shall I see you except in my dreams;
   Adieu to the marshes where the cranberries grow,
      O'er the great Mississippi. Alas! I must go.

6. Adieu to the road which for many a year
      I travelled each Sabbath the Gospel to hear;
   The news was so joyful and pleased me so,
      From hence where I heard it it grieves me to go.

7. Farewell, my white friends, who first taught me to pray
      And worship my Maker and Saviour each day;
   Pray for the poor native whose eyes overflow
      With tears at our parting. Alas! I must go.


This reminds me strongly of "A Prisoner for Life (I - Farewell to Green Fields and Meadows)" -- while there are no common stanzas, the feeling is quite similar and they can be fit to the same tune. But "A Prisoner for Life" is in triple time, while Eddy transcribes this song in four. So I suppose they're separate. Particularly as this appears to be the song of an American Indian forced to leave home and go across the Mississippi (presumably to a reservation, perhaps in Indian Territory?).

In the song, the singer expresses gratitude to the "white friends, who first taught me to pray." This strikes me as laying it on a bit thick. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Eddy 117, "The Wyandotte's Farewell Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST E117 (Full)
  3. Roud #4342
  4. BI, E117


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1845 (newspaper in Sandusky, Ohio)
Found in: US(MW)