51st ( Highland ) Division's Farewell To Sicily

Words: Hamish Henderson / Music: James Robertson
Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

The pipie is dozie, the pipie is fey
He wullnae come roun for his vino the day
The sky owre Messina is unco an gray
An aa the bricht chaumers are eerie

Fareweill ye banks o Sicily
Fare ye weill ye valley an shaw
There's nae Jock will murn the kyles o ye
Aa the bricht chaumers are eerie
[Puir bliddy swaddies are wearie]
Fareweill ye banks o Sicily
Fare ye weill ye valley an shaw
There's nae hame can smour the wiles o ye
Aa the bricht chaumers are eerie
[Puir bliddy swaddies are wearie]

Then doun the stair an line the watterside
Wait yer turn the ferry's awa
Then doun the stair an line the watterside
Aa the bricht chaumers are eerie

The drummie is polisht, the drummie is braw
He cannae be seen for his wabbin ava
He's beezed himsell up for a photie an aa
Tae leave wi his Lola, his dearie

Fareweill ye banks o Sicily
Fare ye weill ye sheilin an haa
We'll aa mind shebeens an bothies
Whaur kind signorinas were cheerie
Fareweill ye banks o Sicily
Fare ye weill ye sheilin an haa
We'll aa mind shebeens an bothies
Whaur Jock made a date wi his dearie

Then tune the pipes an drub the tenor drum
Leave yer kit this side o the waa
Then tune the pipes an drub the tenor drum
Puir bluidy swaddies are wearie
[Aa the bricht chaumers are eerie]


Song Notes

Written by Hamish Henderson to the tune "Farewell To The Creeks", composed by Pipe-Major James Robertson.

In the true folk process, slight alterations have developed over the years in the way I sing this. Where the words I sing differ from those actually written by Hamish, I have put Hamish's original in square brackets.

Jack Mitchell's excellent 1966 article on "Sicily" is well worth reading.

celtic knotwork


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