From the recording Lynnhaven Bay

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"Here's a Health to the Company" is one of the hundreds of emigration songs from the 18th & 19th centuries. Emigration was one of the dominant themes of Irish and Scottish life and while this song is fairly light and heartwarming, emigration was often referred to as the "American wake" and was a permanent parting of friends and family. "Here's a Health" is a shorter version of a nineteenth century song known as "The Emigrant's Farewell to Donside," likely from Aberdeen, Scotland. In John Ord's Bothy Songs And Ballads, the notes say: "This song was sung at a social gathering at Corriehoul, Corgarff, Aberdeenshire, in 1836 by a Mr. Charles Michie, prior to his emigrating to America. His friends long believed it to have been composed by himself, but Mr. Jonathan Gauld, Edinburgh, who sent it to me by special request, informs me that he has discovered it is much older than Michie's time, and that he simply altered some of the verses to suit his own case. Mr. Gavin Greig, M.A., ex-President Buchan Field Club, kindly arranged the music for me." 9 The person writing this was John Ord, one of several Scottish folksong collectors of the late 19th century. During his lifetime, Ord was actually more well known as a Superintendent in the Glasgow police force, and aside from a few articles, Bothy Songs and Ballads is his only major written work.


Kind friends and companions, come join me in rhyme
Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine
Come drink and be merry, all grief to refrain
For we may or might never all meet here again

Here's a health to the company and one to my lass
Let's drink and be merry all out of one glass
Let's drink and be merry, all grief to refrain
For we may or might never all meet here again

Here's a health to the wee lad that I love so well
For his style and for beauty, there's none can excel
There's a smile on his countenance as I sit on his knee
Sure there's no one in the wide world as happy as me

Our ship lies in harbor and it's ready to dock
I wish her safe landing without any shock
And if ever we meet again by land or by sea
I will always remember your kindness to me