Fare You Well, My Own True Love (The Storms Are on the Ocean, The False True Lover, The True Lover's Farewell, Red Rosy Bush, Turtle Dove)

DESCRIPTION: The true lover bids farewell, promising to be true. He asks, "Who will shoe your pretty little foot?" Various floating verses follow, in which the traveller may or may not return and the young woman may or may not grieve at her fate
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Musick-JAF-TheOldAlbumOf-William-A-Larkin)
KEYWORDS: love separation lyric floatingverses
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,SE,So,SW)
REFERENCES (47 citations):
Bronson 76, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (23 versions, of which at least #17, and possibly others, e.g. #12, #13, and #19, perhaps even #8 and #23, should be placed here)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 97, "Red Rosy Bush" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 44, "Fare You Well, My Own True Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Musick-JAF-TheOldAlbumOf-William-A-Larkin 31, "O Fare Thee Well" (1 text)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 480-482, "The False True-Lover" (2 texts)
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 21, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (of the various texts in the appendices, at least some, e.g. "D," "H," and "I," belong here, as does the fourth tune, "Cold Winter's Night"); 40, "James Harris (The Daemon Lover)" (the 2 texts in the appendix seem to belong here with some "House Carpenter" verses mixed in) {#21AppA=Bronson's #8}
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 26, pp. 199-206, "Lady Alice" (3 texts plus a fragment, 4 tunes -- but the fourth, fragmentary, text and tune could as well be this)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 78, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (3 texts, 1 tune, with the "C" text apparently being this ballad)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 131-132, "A Lover's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, p. 67, "The Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune, so full of floating material that it could go almost anywhere)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol5, pp. 68-69, "The False Young Man" (1 text, 1 tune, which starts with verses typical of "Fare You Well, My Own True Love (The Storms Are on the Ocean, The False True Lover, The True Lover's Farewell, Red Rosy Bush, Turtle Dove)" and ends with the "Rocky Mountain Top/White Oak Mountain" verses of "The False Young Man (The Rose in the Garden, As I Walked Out)"
Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #101, "The Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 114, "The True Lover's Farewell" (9 texts, 9 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 37, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version)
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 55, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 67, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 105, "The Turtle Dove" (4 texts)
Randolph 18, "Oh Who Will Shoe My Foot?" (8 texts, 5 tunes, with the "A," "D," and "E" texts probably belonging here) {A=Bronson's #12, D=#19}
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 22, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (2 texts, which are clearly true versions of "The Lass of Roch Royal", but both have the "Storms are on the ocean" verse -- in the "B" texts, it's the chorus. Either the two songs combined to produce the North Carolina versions, or that song is the source for the Carter versions)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 109, "Fare You Well, My Own True Love" (1 text, probably combined with another song); 258, "The False True-Lover" (5 texts); also perhaps 249, "The Turtle-Dove" (1 text, a complex mix of floating verses, some of which may belong here; compare the Lunsford recording of the same name); 264, "Storms Are on the Ocean" (2 texts, with the "Storms" chorus though both have the "Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in town" verse and the "A" text also has a "Blow Gently, the Winds on the Ocean" type verse)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 109, "Fare You Well, My Own True Love" (1 tune plus a text excerpt); 249, "The Turtle-Dove" (1 tune plus a text excerpt); 258, "The False True Lover" (3 tunes plus text excerpts)
Lunsford/Stringfield-30And1FolkSongsFromSouthernMountains, pp. 14-15, "Little Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jones-MinstrelOfTheAppalachians-Bascom-Lamar-Lunsford, p. 243,"Little Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune, a composite of floating verses, some of which perhaps belong here)
McNeil-SouthernMountainFolksong, pp. 96-98, "Little Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune, another transcription of the Lunsford version)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #159, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (1 text, with the local title "The Lonesome Turtle-Dove"); #187, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 21A, "Oh Who Will Shoe Your Bonney Feet?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bronner/Eskin-FolksongAlivePart2 50.III, "Lonesome Dove" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 140-141, "My Old True Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 72, "Who Will Shoe Your Feet?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 53, p. 53, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text plus mention of 3 more; the printed text, amazingly, lacks the "pretty little foot")
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 72-73, "Cold Winter Night" (1 text)
Henry-SongsSungInTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 175-176, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 13, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (1 text plus 8 fragments; the "A" text is this; "B"-"I" are "Pretty Little Foot" versions)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 9, "A Lover's Farewell" (1 fragment, with the first verse ["Oh see that pure and lonesome dove"] probably this and the second being "go dig my grave, go dig it deep....")
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 3-7, "He's Gone Away" (1 text, 1 tune); 98-99, "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (3 texts, 1 tune; of the three texts here, "B" is definitely this piece, "C" is a short fragment of Child 76; the "A" is a one-stanza "pretty little foot" text)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 108, "Winter's Night"; 109, "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, p. 44, "The Storms Are on the Ocean" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 137, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan8 1542, "O Fare Thee Well, My Dearest Dear" (1 text)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, p. 268, "Red Rosy Bush" (1 text); p. 270, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 142, "The Storms Are On The Ocean" (1 text) p. 151, "He's Gone Away" (1 text); p. 153, "Turtle Dove" (1 text)
SongsOfAllTime, p, 52, "The Blackest Crow" (1 text, 1 tune)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Charles W. Joyner, "The Repertory of Nancy Jones as a Mirror of Culture in Scotland County," Vol. XXI, No. 3 (Sep 1973), p. 92-93, "Farewell, my dear true love, I'll bid you adieu" (1 text, two verses that might be "Fare You Well, My Own True Love (The Storms Are on the Ocean, The False True Lover, The True Lover's Farewell, Red Rosy Bush, Turtle Dove)" or "Rye Whiskey" or "The Wagoner's Lad" or, frankly, almost anything; there is a mention of emigration)
ADDITIONAL: W. Christie, editor, Traditional Ballad Airs (Edinburgh, 1876 (downloadable pdf by University of Edinburgh, 2007)), Vol II, pp. 164-165, "You'll Never Mind Me More, Dear Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
HED Hammond, untitled, Journal of the Folk Song Society, Vol. III, No. 11 (1907 (Digitized by Internet Archive)), #13, "The Turtle Dove" (4 texts, 3 tunes)
Cecil J Sharp and Charles I Marson, _Folk Songs from Somerset_ (Second Series), (London,Simpkin & Co Ltd,1911), #39 pp. 26-27, “The True Lover's Farewell"

Roud #49
Appalachia Vagabond (Hayes Shepherd), "Hard For to Love" (on StuffDreams2)
The Carter Family, "The Storms Are On the Ocean" (Victor 20937, 1927; Bluebird B-6176, 1935; Montgomery Ward M-7021, c. 1936); (OKeh 03160/Vocalion 03160, 1936; ARC 7-12-63/Conqueror 8806, 1937; Columbia 37756/Columbia 20333, 1947; rec. 1935)
A. P. Carter Family, "Storms are on the Ocean" (Acme 993, c. 1949)
Delmore Brothers, "The Storms Are On the Ocean" (Bluebird B-8613/Montgomery Ward M-8689, 1940)
Aunt Molly Jackson, "Ten Thousand Miles" (AFS, 1939; on LC02)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Little Turtle Dove" (Brunswick 229, 1928; on BLLunsford01; a composite of all sorts of floating verses, a few of which may be from this song)
Lewis McDaniel & Gid Smith, "It's Hard to Leave You, Sweet Love" (Victor 40287, c. 1929)
Neil Morris, "The Lass of Loch Royale" (on LomaxCD1701)
New Lost City Ramblers, "It's Hard to Leave You, Sweet Love" (on NLCR16)
Jean Ritchie & Doc Watson, "Storms Are On the Ocean" (on RitchieWatson1, RitchiteWatsonCD1)
[Leonard] Rutherford & [John] Foster, "Storms May Rule the Ocean" (Gennett, rec. 1929; on KMM)
Ruby Vass "10,000 Miles" (on Persis1)

Bodleian, Firth c.18(101), "The True Lover's Farewel[sic]", unknown, no date; also Harding B 25(1952), "The True-Lovers, Farewell"
cf. "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (floating lyrics) and references there
cf. "The Lass of Roch Royal" [Child 76] (floating lyrics)
cf. "Mary Anne"
cf. "Sugar Baby (Red Rocking Chair; Red Apple Juice)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "I Truly Understand You Love Another Man"
cf. "Way Down the Old Plank Road"
NOTES [433 words]: This song is officially a catch-all. The problem is, what to do with all the lost love pieces *with* some hint of a plot plus the floating element "Who will shoe your pretty little foot." After some hesitation, we decided on a four-part primary division (with some exceptions):
* "The Lass of Roch Royal" for the ballad of that title
* "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" for fragments too short to classify at all
* "Mary Anne" for the versions specifically about that girl
* This, for everything else.
There probably are recensional variants within this song family; it's just too big and too complex. But the particular items are such a mess that we finally gave up trying to sort them.
The Carter Family version "The Storms Are on the Ocean," which is almost certainly a version remade by A. P. Carter, was one of the six songs recorded by The Carter Family at the original "Bristol Session" in 1927; see Michael Orgill, Anchored in Love: The Carter Family Story, Fleming H. Revell, 1975, p. 102.
Barry Mazor, Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music, Chicago Review Press, 2015, pp. 105-106, prints texts of both "The Storms Are on the Ocean" and a local version of "The True Lover's Farewell" and suggests that Ralph Peer, who ran the Bristol Sessions, told the Carters that songs with choruses tended to do better, and thus was "The Storms" born. We can't prove it now, but it makes sense; the chorus doesn't seem to exist anywhere else. And there is the interesting inconsistency that, in a song that is otherwise entirely in recent English, the chorus ends "if I prove false to thee." It reads like something hastily cooked up. - RBW
Greig/Duncan8: "Song, written by Lieutenant Hinches, as a farewell to his sweetheart." "Assembled" may be more accurate than "written" since Greig/Duncan8 is the familiar assemblage of floating verses.
For the Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople "Suppose my friends will never be pleased and look with an angry eye ....": cf., "Fare You Well, My Own True Love": Greig/Duncan8 1542 "Your friends and mine, my only love, Look with an angry eye".
Regarding sources for Burns's "A Red, Red Rose," Hammond writes, "The editor [of Popular Songs and Melodies of Scotland], Farquhar Graham, there mentions a garland, supposed to have been printed about 1770, called 'The Horn Fair Garland, containing six excellent new songs,' one amongst them being a version of 'The Turtledove, or True love's farewell.' This is believed to have been in the possession of Burns, as his name, in a boyish hand, is scrawled on the margin of the last page" (p. 89). - BS
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