Song Lyrics

Ten Thousand Miles

by Traditional

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Oh fare thee well I must be gone
And leave you for a while
Wherever I go, I will return
If I go
If I go ten thousand miles
If I go
If I go
If I go ten thousand miles

Oh the crow that is so black my love
Would change his color white
If ever I'm false to the boy I love
Day, day would turn to night
Yes the day
Oh the day
Yes the day would turn to night

Oh the rivers never will run dry
Or the rocks melt with the sun
I'll never be false to the boy I love
Tell all, all these things be done
Tell all
No tell all
Tell all these things be don

Fare thee well
Fare thee well
Fare thee well
My love

Footnotes to Ten Thousand Miles

The first published version of this song appeared in Roxburghe Ballads dated 1710, the lyrics were there given the title "The True Lover's Farewell". "Fare Thee Well" shares several lyrics which parallel those of Robert Burns' "A Red, Red Rose". The lyrics are also strikingly similar to a folk song titled, "My Dear Mary Ann" that dates back to the mid-19th century. Similarities include the meter and rhyme scheme, as well as the alternative title of "Ten Thousand Miles". The song has been recorded by Nic Jones, Mary Black, Eliza Carthy, Chad & Jeremy, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Liam Clancy, Marianne Faithfull, Burl Ives, Molina and Roberts, and June Tabor. Joan Baez recorded it on her 1960 debut album, which most likely was where Joni heard it.

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