Farewell to Nova Scotia

Year Inducted: 2006
Era Inducted To: Pioneer Era
Written In:Traditional (prior or during WWI)
Lyricist(s):
Composer(s):

The official song of Nova Scotia, Farewell to Nova Scotia, also known as ‘The Nova Scotia Song, is a favourite folk song of unknown authorship, believed to have been written shortly before or during World War I. Derived from ‘The Soldier’s Adieu’, by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill, the song was changed to reflect a soldier’s sorrow at leaving the hills behind as he heads out to sea.

Farewell to Nova Scotia gained popularity when it was recorded in 1964 by Catherine McKinnon to be used as the theme song of the Halifax CBC television show ‘Singalong Jubilee’. The song has been published in numerous books including Helen Creighton’s ‘Traditional Songs from Nova Scotia’ and Carrie B. Grover’s ‘A Heritage of Song’.

Farewell to Nova Scotia invokes images of a time when Nova Scotia was famed for wooden ships and iron men. Today, the song is used by many to reflect the sentiments of mass migrations of young people from Nova Scotia westward to Ontario and Alberta.

COVER ARTISTS INCLUDE: Anne Murray, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Wild Mountain Thyme, Diane Oxner, Terry Kelly, and Stan Rogers