by Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

Farewell my Lilly dear
Language: English 
Available translation(s): ITA
Lilly dear, it grieves me 
The tale I have to tell; 
Old massa sends me roaming, 
So Lilly, fare you well! 

Oh! fare you well my true love, 
Farewell old Tennessee, 
Then let me weep for you love, 
But do not weep for me. 

 Farewell forever to Old Tennessee; 
 Farewell my Lilly dear, 
 Don't weep for me. 

I's guine to roam the wide world 
In lands I've never hoed, 
With nothing but my banjo 
To cheer me on the road; 

For when I'm sad and weary 
I'll make the banjo play, 
To mind me of my true love 
When I am far away. 


I wake up in the morning, 
And walk out on the farm; 
Oh! Lilly am a darling 
She take me by the arm, 

We wander through the clover 
Down by the river side, 
I tell her that I love her 
And she must be my bride.


Oh! Lilly dear, 'tis mournful 
To leave you here alone, 
You'll smile before I leave you, 
And weep when I am gone. 

The sun can never shine, love, 
So bright for you and me, 
As when I worked beside you 
In good old Tennessee.



Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Antonio Zencovich) , title 1: "Buona fortuna, mia cara Lilly", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Laura Prichard [Guest Editor] , Antonio Zencovich

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-26
Line count: 39
Word count: 197