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The Last Farewell
Song

The Last Farewell

Roger Whittaker
Album:
New World In The Morning

Song Meaning and Background of The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker


Whittaker hosted a British radio programme in 1971, backed by an orchestra.


Whittaker says "one of the ideas I had was to invite listeners to send their poems or lyrics to me and I would make songs out of them. We got a million replies, and I did one each week for 26 weeks."


Whittaker claimed that while on vacation in Canada in 1975, the wife of a programme director for a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, heard Whittaker's four-year-old recording. She urged her husband to play it on the station once she got back to the US. The song "The Last Farewell" quickly became popular after he played it a few times and viewers called the station to ask questions about it and the performer.


The opening French horn solo in "The Last Farewell" has a classical feel, according to Whittaker, which contributes significantly to its appeal.


The only single of Whittaker's career to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 19 in June 1975 and reached the Top 20. It also peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart.


Lyrics of The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker


There's a ship lies rigged and ready in the harbor

Tomorrow for old England she sails

Far away from your land of endless sunshine

To my land full of rainy skies and gales

And I shall be aboard that ship tomorrow

Though my heart is full of tears at this farewell

 

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

 

I've heard there's a wicked war a-blazing

And the taste of war I know so very well

Even now I see the foreign flag a-raising

Their guns on fire as we sail into Hell

I have no fear of death, it brings no sorrow

But how bitter will be this last farewell

 

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

 

Though death and darkness gather all about me

And my ship be torn apart upon the seas

I shall smell again the fragrance of these islands

And the heaving waves that brought me once to thee

And should I return safe home again to England

I shall watch the English mist roll through the dale

 

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell

Release Date

1971

Songwriter/s

Roger Whittaker, Ron A. Webster

Producer/s

Denis Preston

Label/s

RCA Records

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