The Parting Glass

The lyrics to this song date back to at least the early 1600s. The melody came a century or so later. It’s usually played at the end of the night as a farewell song.William Christie, who compiled two volumes of Traditional Ballad Airs, wrote in 1876 that The Parting Glass was still the last played at balls. There are a lot of variations on the lyrics but these are the ones I got from The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem: Irish Songs of Drinking and Rebellion which is a great addition to any collection not only for its music but also for its cool cover. Their glasses, of course, should be bigger, but other than that…

All the money that ever I spent
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was to none but me
And all I’ve lost from want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So raise to me the parting glass
Goodnight and joy be with you all

And all the comrades that ever I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that ever I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
Goodnight and joy be with you all

If I had money enough to spend
And leisure time to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in this town
Who sorely has my heart beguiled
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips
I own she has my heart enthralled
So raise to me the parting glass
Goodnight and joy be with you all

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