Parting Glass

I first heard The Parting Glass on a collected CD of Irish music that my parents owned – it was a version by The Dubliners, with a gruff-voiced singer and a shrill whistle wailing the melody along with him.

Of all the money that e’er I spent
I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done
Alas it was to none but me

I have actually amassed rather a collection of various cover versions over the years – not on purpose, but I think having a collection of The Parting Glass covers tends to happen if you listen to a reasonable amount of folk music. They sneak into your life. I have a few I don’t particularly care for – versions by Sinead O’Connor and Loreena McKennitt, for example. McKennitt’s is pretty much as you would imagine if you’ve ever listened to Loreena McKennitt, and O’Connor’s is just too slow. I really like Cara Dillon’s version, which is very sweet and mournful.

But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all

The latest cover I’ve been listening to is an acapella version by The Wailin’ Jennys, which has the most wonderful harmonies. I just wish they’d done another verse so it wasn’t so short.

So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

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