The Parting Glass
Listen now
Description
"So fill to me the parting glass... Goodnight and joy be to you all." A popular toast at the end of an evening or a heartfelt farewell to a departed or deceased person? The Parting Glass has become synonymous with leaving. It was written in Scotland and has criss crossed the Irish Sea becoming a popular song among Celtic peoples around the world. Folk singer Karine Polwart talks of its fragile beauty as a song that can be a rousing drinking song at the end of the night but equally a poignant farewell at a funeral. For Alaskan Fire Chief Benjamin Fleagle there was no more fitting song to honour his mentor and colleague at his Fire Department when he passed away over a decade ago. The song still brings out raw emotion in him. Alissa McCulloch 'clung' to the song when she heard the Irish singer Hozier sing a version of it at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. At the time Alissa was seriously mentally unwell at home in Australia and was admitted to hospital where she listened to the song over and over finding comfort in its timeless beauty. After Canada's worst mass shooting in its history Pete MacDonald and his sisters recorded an acapella version of the song as a musical tribute to those who lost their lives. It's a tradition in Novia Scotia to sing in the kitchen at parties, wakes and celebrations and they wanted to pay their respects to the dead. The Irish singer Finbar Furey has performed the song with his band the Fureys and talks about its appeal not only in Scotland and Ireland but throughout the Scots-Irish diaspora. "But since it falls unto my lot That I should rise And you should not I'll gently rise and softly call Goodnight and joy be to you all" Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol: Maggie Ayre Song versions: Karine Polwart Hozier Finbar Furey The High Kings The MacDonalds
More Episodes
"Country roads, take me home To the place I belong" Written by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert with and for their friend John Denver, the song went on to be covered by Ray Charles, Toots and the Maytals, Olivia Newton John and many more. A song about the longing for home and the desire to be back...
Published 08/04/21
The Carpenters - brother and sister duo Richard and Karen - were one of the most popular groups of the 1970s. His outstanding compositions and her stunning vocals created several massive hits including We've Only Just Begun. Originally written as a TV advert for a bank portraying happy young...
Published 07/21/21
This disco classic tells a powerful story: that of a young, gay man leaving his homophobic small town for the freedom of the big city. Released in 1984, Smalltown Boy continues to resonate and has become an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. The track appeared on their album 'The Age of Consent'...
Published 07/14/21