The Parting Glass
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

William Cole lists this as an Irish song. It was well known in both Ireland and Scotland. Before Auld Lange Syne, this song was the most popular parting song in Scotland. It appears in Herd's Scots Songs and in the Scots Musical Museum (1803/4). It was printed on broadsides as early as 1770* and saw a resurgence of popularity in the late 1800s. Several copies of these broadsides can be found at the Broadside Ballads Online.

The tune appears as early as the 1600s - in the Skene Manuscript and in the Guthrie Manuscript (c 1675). It is also in Playford's Original Scots Tunes (1700).**

The song is also known as Good Night and Joy Be With You All.

Sam Henry collected The Parting Glass in Ireland in 1938. In Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, Peter Kennedy relates it to the Manx song Te Traa Goll Thie (It's Time to Go Home).

Of all the money e'er I had,
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 done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er 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 gently rise and softly call,
That I should go and you should not,
Good night 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,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.

Information From
Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
Sam Henry's Songs of the People
See Bibliography for full information.
*The Mudcat Cafe and
**Bruce Olson's Roots of Folk Website