McGarrigle/Cockburn/Wainwright/Tannenbaum – Fare Thee Well or Dink’s Song

Posted May 17th, 2009 by Anna

Still dwelling on the Seeger event. Couldn’t find a youtube that had both visual and sound performance of Dink’s Song♥ aka Fare Thee Well which features Kate McGarrigle vocal & guitar, Bruce Cockburn vocal & guitar, Martha Wainwright vocal, Rufus Wainwright vocal with Chaim Tannenbaum echo harp and Anna McGarrigle accordion. Somebody has posted just the sound on youtube, better than nothing at all. Thank you.
Fare Thee Well/aka Dink's Song.

♥Story has it the song was collected in 1908 by John Lomax who heard a woman (presumably Dink) sing it. Dink was living in a tent on the banks of the Brazos River in Texas and she was doing her laundry. (Kate: take note) It’s utterly heartbreaking. “If I had wings like Noah’s dove, I’d fly up the river to the one I love, Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well… Maple Byrne, who works with Emmylou, when asked to name his favorite songwriter, replied: “Dink.” We first heard Dave Van Ronk do it in Montreal in the early 60s. Pete S. sang the song with banjo accompaniment and Barbara Dane had sort of a hit with it. Don’t know if there’s a recording of Dink singing her song (1908?) but she will live forever as long as people call it by its name, Dink’s Song.

Read down this article to where the reviewer calls our performance the musical highlight of the evening, no less..we thought it was too. It is the Irish Times and they may be just a little biased…There were many great moments. I think Amazing Grace did it for me.

Also putting in a link for BEFORE TOMORROW/LE JOUR AVANT LE LENDEMAIN this film Kate and I have some music in. It was released in late March and we didn’t have our new site up then. Here is a poster for it.354339

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11 Responses:

  1. 'Epinette' Caine bin GCT™ says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Lord have moicy this is wondrous.

  2. gazzacymru says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    that song was absolutely fantastic made me cry

  3. gazzacymru says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    not just the song but your singing too …..and rufus

  4. naan says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    i thought anna was singing too…not just playing accordeon.

  5. Campbie says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I was over to Murdemais Hopital and told spruce top ( we miss you ) about the song and I said how i was knocked out by B. Cockburn’s almost Nina Simone-like singing. Mr T. On Hohner was as usual outta sight. The vocals by k&A and R&W were transcendant. A prison song w/ biblical references, hibernian squeeze box, applachian banjer. It’s the alpha and omega of all this here music we’ve been at lo’ these many decades. The Oirish Toimes probaly was late with review as the winds are easterly now therby hindering the progress of the boat home. I await the video and or CD with anticipation. I’ll be at the Regal Haul in the bleak midwinter.

  6. Sybilla says:

    May 19th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Wow, never heard it so thanks for that! Do you think that song inspired Joni Mitchell to write ‘The Silky Veils Of Ardor’?

    I wish I had the wings
    Of Noah’s pretty little white dove
    So I could fly this raging river
    To reach the one I love

    It’s one of my all time favourite songs 🙂

  7. Jay W. says:

    August 3rd, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I had a chance to see the Seeger 90th Birthday celebration on Channel 13 here in New York, and that your collective performanceI of “Dink’s Song” just mesmerized me and put tears in my eyes. My wife missed the initial broadcast but caught the encore on Sunday, and she agrees with me that it was one of the most beautiful things we’d heard in a while. We may buy the DVD strictly for your appearance there.

    There were a lot of excellent performances in that show, but yours was the best.

  8. John Agnoli says:

    August 3rd, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I thought the performance of Dink’s Song at Pete’s 90th was fantastic. I also thought it was the highlight of the evening. I just saw the broadcast on PBS in the NYC area. And I still got shivers. Well done.

  9. Bob Drake says:

    August 11th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Is the soundtrack for \Before Tomorrow\ available anywhere? You are not evem mentioned in the materials on the Before Tomorrow official website.

  10. Jim Capaldi says:

    January 5th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Our local PBS station showed only the 90 minute version of this magnificent concert. I was only just able to hear your stunningly beautiful performance of Dink’s Song last week when I received and played the DVD from the Clearwater. It is everything everyone else has already said and more. You are all outstanding but my favorite part is when Rufus Wainwright sings a verse; you can feel Dink’s sorrow and pain through his performance. I am going to have to get some of his recordings. Thank you all for such a memorable performance. And thanks to you, Dink’s Song has become one of my all time favorite songs. That’s saying a lot since I’ve been listening to folk music ever since December 1964 when some friends took me to a Pete Seeger concert.

  11. Ray Beckerman says:

    May 9th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I was there that night. Everyone who participated in the performance was fantastic. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard anywhere, in my entire life.

    But for me the most overwhelming thing was Martha Wainwright’s singing; I just about fell out of my seat.

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