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Attributed to George Scroggie near Aberdeen in or around 1850, this song was popularized by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd. Lloyd credits the song to Scroggie in the liner notes for his album Leviathan, saying of it:

The stereotype of the oldtime whalemen is a hairychested ring-tailed roarer, hard worker, hard drinker, hard fighter. No doubt the description fitted many of them; nevertheless they often showed a strong liking for gentle meditative songs. Perhaps alone among all the songs on this record, Farewell to Tarwathie was made not by a whaleman, but by a miller, George Scroggie of Federate, near Aberdeen, around the middle of the 19th century. The tune is an old favourite, best known in connection with the song called Green Bushes.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their livestreams, the original lyrics can be found here.

Farewell to Tarwathie, adieu Mormond Hill
And the dear land o' Crimond, I bid you farewell
For I'm bound out for Greenland and ready to sail
In hopes to find riches in hunting the whale

Farewell to my comrades, for a while we must part
And likewise the dear lass who first won my heart
For the cold coast of Greenland, my love will not chill
And the longer my absence, more loving she'll feel

Our ship is well rigg-ed and ready to sail
and the crew they are anxious to follow the whale
Where the icebergs do fall and the stormy winds blow
and the land and the ocean are covered in snow

The cold coast of Greenland is barren and bare
No seed time nor harvest is ever known there
And the birds here sing sweetly in mountain and dale
But there's no bird in Greenland to sing for the whale

There is no habitation for a man to live there
And the king of that country is the fierce Greenland bear
And there will be no temptation to tarry long there
With our ship bumper full, we will homeward repair

Farewell to Tarwathie, adieu Mormond Hill
And the dear land o' Crimond, I bid you farewell
For we're bound out for Greenland and ready to sail
In hopes to find riches in hunting the whale

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