"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
The High Kings
"Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong"
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