Dink's Song

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"Dink's Song" (sometimes known as "Fare Thee Well") is an American folk song played by many folk revival musicians such as Pete Seeger, Fred Neil, Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk, as well as more recent musicians like Jeff Buckley. The song tells the story of a woman deserted by her lover when she needs him the most.

The first historical record of the song was by ethnomusicologist John Lomax in 1904, who recorded it as sung by an African American woman called Dink, as she washed her man's clothes in a tent camp of migratory levee-builders on the bank of the Brazos River, a few miles from College Station, Texas and Texas A&M College.

The first publication of the music was in American Ballads and Folk Songs, edited by Lomax and his son, Alan Lomax, and published by Macmillan in 1934.

Gloria Lynne recorded the song for a concept album created and produced by Harry Belafonte titled Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music.[1] In Lynne's version the song is called "Honey." The song was also recorded by Burl Ives (circa 1965).

A different arrangement of the song was written and performed by Frank Black on his 2006 album Fast Man Raider Man. Puerto Rican singer Gabriel Ríos included the song on the limited edition 2-disc release of his album Angelhead.

Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac's performance of "Dink's Song" is featured on the soundtrack for the film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Lyrics[edit]

As with many traditional songs, there are numerous versions of the lyrics. The version first published in American Ballads and Folk Songs is faithful to the dialect in which Dink herself sang:

Ef I had wings like Noah's dove,
I'd fly up the river to the man I love.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

Ise got a man, an' he's long and tall,
Moves his body like a cannonball.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

One o' these days, an' it won't be long,
Call my name an' I'll be gone.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

'Member one night, a-drizzlin' rain,
Roun' my heart I felt a pain.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

When I wo' my ap'ons low,
Couldn't keep you from my do'.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

Now I wears my ap'ons high,
Sca'cely ever see you passin' by.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

Now my ap'ons up to my chin,
You pass my do' an' you won' come in,
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

Ef I had listened to whut my mama said,
I'd be at home in my mama's bed.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

References[edit]

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