Farewell to Nova Scotia | Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
All inducted songs
"We didn't know then that the song was as special as it has now become."
Farewell to Nova Scotia
  • Year Inducted: 2006
  • Written In: Prior or during WW1
Unknown Songwriter
Anne Murray
Ian and Sylvia Tyson
Stompin’ Tom Connors
Wild Mountain Thyme
Diane Oxner
Terry Kelly
Stan Rogers
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.

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Farewell to Nova Scotia - performed by Jimmy Rankin
"Farewell to Nova Scotia" was performed by Canadian country and folk artist Jimmy Rankin at the 2006 CSHF Induction Ceremony.
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