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The Last Farewell

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Rating: 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
Words & Music: Roger Whittaker/ R.A. Webster
There's a ship lies rigged and ready in the harbor
Tomorrow for old England she sails
Far away from your land of endless sunshine
To my land full of rainy skies and gales
And I shall be aboard that ship tomorrow
Though my heart is full of tears at this farewell

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell

I've heard there's a wicked war a-blazing
And the taste of war I know so very well
Even now I see the foreign flag a-raising
Their guns on fire as we sail into hell
I have no fear of death, it brings no sorrow
But how bitter will be this last farewell

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell

Though death and darkness gather all about me
My ship be torn apart upon the seas
I shall smell again the fragrance of these islands
And the heaving waves that brought me once to thee
And should I return home safe again to England
I shall watch the English mist roll through the dale

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
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Recorded: 1976/02/02, first released on From Elvis Presley Boulevard

Reactions

sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2013report abuse
I remember reading somewhere that Elvis recorded this song because he loved the lyrics so much. Why they stuck to the original arrangment instead off making it simpler, I don't know. Still Elvis' version is way better than Whittaker's.
Gorse (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 13, 2012report abuse
Just one of a couiple of songs where he mentions my homeland England. I have always enjoyed the performance of Roger Whittaker but as someone who prefers the actual voice timbre of Elvis to other singers then this is my choice as the best. I like both the less orhestrated outtake 2 and the master in equal measure.
ElvisSacramento (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 26, 2012report abuse
This is such a splendid song and Elvis' cover version of it was tremendous. This is Roger Whittaker's signature song and it's my 2nd most favorite track from the "From Elvis Presley Boulevard Memphis Tennessee" album.
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
I like just about every track from the "From Elvis Presley Blvd" album. I think it is one of Elvis's most focused LPs (and the general love of the Jungle Room FTD release must mean that others feel the same way). Elvis' voice remained beautiful until the end--but the arrangement on this might be a little over the top (and I usually love heavily orchestrated stuff, even "This Is Our Dance"...) I think this would be more effective with an acoustic guitar and a small understated string section. And probably/maybe a piano. I am still a big fan of the song, exactly as it is, but like many Elvis songs, sometimes the music competes against the sincerity in Elvis' voice.
old shep (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
The words for this song were written by a listener to Roger Whittaker's radio show aired in the 1970s. Listeners were invited to submit lyrics for Whittaker to add a melody and hopefully record. Elvis' version was a moderate success on the charts in the 1980s when taken off the album, but it was clear that RCA were struggling for material to release it as a single.
shoesuedeblues (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
A bit of a slap in the face for British fans being that Elvis never got round to visiting "old England"
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
It may be an old English folk song but its boring & plodding as much of that LP was. Never play it unless I want to fall asleep.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
Not as good as the original, but still a verry good version. Specially the undubbed version.
Steve Morse (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
The orchestration is beautiful and perfectly captures the mood of the song. Elvis's treatment is slightly subdued and restrained and I always thought that the vinyl recording sounded slightly muffled. Subsequent CD issues have perhaps been slightly clearer. It's a one-off, really, for Elvis - an English folk song - and I love it. I'm just so pleased he recorded it and it clearly appealed to his sentimental side. There are stories that some of the bandmates or entourage wondered why he was 'recording such garbage' (not a direct quote) - but that misses the whole point of Elvis and his appeal, which is his versatility and eclectic taste in music ; and, most importantly, his ability to convincingly sing in a wide variety of musical styles.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2010report abuse
Not a very good version of our man. Very weak voice and Elvis did sing it uninspired. I guess he had nothing with the lyrics of this song.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2010report abuse
A top-notch vocal of the Roger Whittaker song that appeared as the last song on side A of the "From Elvis Presley Boulevard" album. Elvis is crystal clear on every word and takes a song that I never cared for before and makes it memorable. People who only think he should have been a rocker won't like the song selection, but he was 41 for goodness sake and he gives a mature professional performance of an easy listening song.
MJB63 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2009report abuse
Not a great song and he sounds bored singing it...not a highlight of the "From Elvis Presley Boulevard" album.

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