To all you reaching this page by typing some variation of this post’s title into a search engine: Please read on. This entry is for you and you alone.
I’d like to thank you, first off, for visiting my humble site here. I know at least one person per day arrives here by searching some combination of the words “Farewell and Adieu, My Fair Spanish Lady” and, though you folks are probably a bit confused when you get here, you’re boosting my stats and making me the number one result on Google for those terms. For that, I thank you humbly.
Also, I realize that the reason is because, like me, you’re misquoting the song completely, which is what brings us together here. Having considered this, and the fact that you are likeley searching for information about the actual song and not some random post about The Turkey Apocalypse or Extraterrestrial Grizzly Bears, I provide the following information as a service to you, my hapless bretheren, in the spirit of solidarity and genuine gratitude.
Tha actual song is entitled “Spanish Ladies” or “Farewell and Adieu” and was a traditional sort of old English sea shanty, a rythmic song sung by sailors doing routine tasks aboard ship. In this case, it was likely sung as the capstan was turned to raise the anchor, thus the tone of departure.
It is a very old song indeed, with many variants, but the most widely recognized lyrics are as follows.
Farewell and adieu unto you Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain;
For it’s we’ve received orders for to sail for old England,
But we hope very soon we shall see you again.
We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true British sailors,
We’ll rant and we’ll roar across the salt seas,
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues.
Then we hove our ship to the wind at sou’-west, my boys,
We hove our ship to our soundings for to see;
So we rounded and sounded, and got forty-five fathoms,
We squared our main yard, up channel steered we.
Now the first land we made it is called the Deadman,
Then Ram Head off Plymouth, Start, Portland and Wight;
We sailed by Beachy, by Fairlee and Dungeness,
Until we came abreast of the South Foreland Light.
Then the signal was made for the grand fleet for to anchor,
All in the downs that night for to meet;
Then it’s stand by your stoppers, see clear your shank-painters,
Haul all your clew garnets, stick out tacks and sheets.
Now let every man toss off a full bumper,
And let every man toss off a full bowl;
And we’ll drink and be merry and drown melancholy,
Singing, here’s a good health to all true-hearted souls.
Of course, most of us recognize the tune as it’s sung by Robert Shaw in Jaws where he substitutes “Boston” for England, a version I certainly enjoyed, as a native of that town.
Here’s a more traditional performance.
And here is a bit more information for you.
Anyway, I truly hope that helps you find what you’re looking for. If so, maybe leave me a comment letting me know. Maybe even stick around a bit and join the madness here, if the mood strikes you. Either way, thanks for stopping by and good luck.
And, hey. Happy sailing.