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The Last Farewell

Rating:
3.6 / 5

Words & Music: Roger Whittaker R.A. Webster

There's a ship lies rigged and ready in the harborTomorrow for old England she sailsFar away from your land of endless sunshineTo my land full of rainy skies and galesAnd I shall be aboard that ship tomorrowThough my heart is full of tears at this farewellFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tellFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tellI've heard there's a wicked war a-blazingAnd the taste of war I know so very wellEven now I see the foreign flag a-raisingTheir guns on fire as we sail into hellI have no fear of death, it brings no sorrowBut how bitter will be this last farewellFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tellFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tellThough death and darkness gather all about meMy ship be torn apart upon the seasI shall smell again the fragrance of these islandsAnd the heaving waves that brought me once to theeAnd should I return home safe again to EnglandI shall watch the English mist roll through the daleFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tellFor you are beautiful, I have loved you dearlyMore dearly than the spoken word can tell

Recordingdate: 1976/02/02, first released on: From Elvis Presley Boulevard (album)

Musicians

Musicians who contributed to the first recording of The Last Farewell:

(guitar)
(guitar)
(guitar)
(bass)
(drums)
(piano)
(electric piano)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)

Others*

(vocals)
(french horn)
(french horn)
(oboe)
(trombone)
(cello)
(cello)
(viola)
(viola)
(viola)
(viola)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(harp)

*Orchestra, overdubs

Availability

Find available albums with The Last Farewell.

MJB63 wrote on November 18, 2009
Not a great song and he sounds bored singing it...not a highlight of the "From Elvis Presley Boulevard" album.
Deano1 wrote on February 27, 2010
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.
Ton Bruins wrote on June 12, 2010
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.
Steve Morse wrote on June 12, 2010
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.
Rob Wanders wrote on June 12, 2010
Not as good as the original, but still a verry good version. Specially the undubbed version.
Steve V wrote on June 12, 2010
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.
shoesuedeblues wrote on June 12, 2010
A bit of a slap in the face for British fans being that Elvis never got round to visiting "old England"
old shep wrote on June 12, 2010
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.
NONE000000 wrote on June 12, 2010
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.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 26, 2012
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.
Gorse wrote on November 13, 2012
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.
sugartummy wrote on May 18, 2013
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.
Polk Salad Robert wrote on January 17, 2015
I´just listening to this beautiful song over and over and don´t get tired of it ...it is just relaxing me and giving me a positiv feeling !
Cruiser621 wrote on June 28, 2015
Not one of his better recordings, but it does stay in your mind after listening.
bajo wrote on May 03, 2017
I happen to have a soft sport for the entire album. And I think Elvis did a very good version of this Roger Whittaker classic.
JerryNodak wrote on October 22, 2020
I liked the original by Roger Whittaker. I like Elvis' cover version. I totally enjoy the EP Boulevard LP.
bk wrote on October 22, 2020
Elvis did touch down on British soil on his flight back from Germany in 1960.
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