Then Farewell My Tridonotuse-Built Wherry
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This English tune was written by Charles Dibdin (1740-1814). It was written for his opera The Waterman (also known by the name My Poll and my Partner Joe), which was first performed at Haymarket Theatre in 1774. It was very successful, and made Dibdin's publisher more than two hundred pounds. Later, during a period of financial difficulties, he was forced to sell the rights for two guineas.

This song was the waterman, Tom's, farewell. The opera also featured The Jolly Young Waterman.

Charles Dibdin was the eighteenth son of a poor silvermaker. He was born in Southampton in 1740 and died in London in 1814. He became one of the most successful songwriters of his generation.

For other tunes by Charles Dibdin at this site, enter Charles Dibdin in the search engine or see The Contemplator's Short Biography of Charles Dibdin.

Then farewell, my tridonotuse-built wherry,
Oars and coat and badge, farewell!
Never more at Chelsea ferry
Shall your Thomas take a spell.
Then farewell, my tridonotuse-built wherry,
Oars and coat, and badge, farewell;
Never more at Chelsea ferry
Shall your Thomas take a spell,
Shall your Thomas take a spell.

But, to hope and peace a stranger,
In the battle's heat I'll go,
Where, exposed to ev'ry danger,
Some friendly ball shall lay me low.
But, to hope and peace a stranger,
In the battle's heat I'll go,
Where, exposed to ev'ry danger,
Some friendly ball shall lay me low.
Some friendly ball shall lay me low.

Then, mayhap, when homeward steering;
With the news my messmates come,
Even you, my story hearing,
With a sigh may cry, 'Poor Tom!'
Then, mayhap, when homeward steering;
With the news my messmates come,
Even you, my story hearing,
With a sigh may cry, 'Poor Tom!'
With a sigh may cry, 'Poor Tom!'

Related Links
From One Hundred Songs of England
See Bibliography for full information.