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Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song) - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Fare Thee Well - or "Dink's Song" as it is sometimes known - is a traditional American folk song that has been recorded by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Dave Van Ronk and others.  It features in the Cohen brothers' film, 'Inside Lewellyn Davis', in which it is performed by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac.  So, how did it get its unusual sobriquet, "Dink's song"?  Well, it was 'discovered' by the folklorist, Alan Lomax, when, in 1908, he recorded a black woman called Dink sing it, as she washed clothes on the banks of the Brazos river, in Texas.  This helps to distinguish it from other folk songs also called 'Fare Thee Well'.  The musical simplicity of the song, which uses only four chords, enables a soulful beauty to shine through.  Dink's song is essentially about the anguish of longing for a loved-one who has gone.

song - Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song) - on iTunes

Chords

              G                C           G
If I had wings like Noah's dove

                  Em               D    C
I'd fly the river to the one I love;

                 G      C     G          D             G
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.



                 G                            C             G
If I had a woman who was long and tall,

                    Em              D           C
Moved her body like a cannon ball -

                 G      C     G          D             G
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.



                             G                         C             G
I remember one evening, it was drizzling rain,

                   Em                    D         C
And in my heart, I felt an aching pain -

                 G      C     G          D             G
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.




              G               C                 G
Muddy river runs muddy and wild,

                                Em                    D           C
You can't care the bloody for my unborn child -

                 G      C     G          D             G
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.



                                 G             C       G
Just as sure as the birds fly high above,

                           Em                           D            C
Life ain't worth living without the one you love -

                 G      C     G          D             G
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Lyrics

If I had wings like Noah's dove
I'd fly the river to the one I love;
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

If I had a woman who was long and tall,
Moved her body like a cannon ball -
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

I remember one evening, it was drizzling rain,
And in my heart, I felt an aching pain -
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Muddy river runs muddy and wild,
You can't care the bloody for my unborn child -
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Just as sure as the birds fly high above,
Life ain't worth living without the one you love -
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

 

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs


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