Cape Breton Songs


Cape Breton Songs

Nova Scotia -- "Farewell To Nova Scotia"

The sun was setting in the west
The birds were singing on every tree
All nature seemed inclined to rest
But still there was no rest for me.

Farewell to Nova Scotia
The seabound coast
Let your mountains, dark and dreary, be
For when I am far away
On the briny ocean, tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh and a wish for me?

I grieve to leave my native land
I grieve to leave my comrades, all
And my parents, whom I've held so dear
And the bonnie, bonnie lass I do adore


The drums, they do beat
The wars, they alarm
The captain calls, we must obey
So farewell, farewell to Nova Scotia's charms
For it's early in the morning and I'm far, far away (this should be the final verse)

I have three brothers
They are at rest
Their arms are folded on their breast
And a poor old sailor such as me
Must be tossed and driven
On the deep blue sea.


(I'm not sure about the "And a poor old sailor such as me" line

Cape Breton - "The Island"

Over an ocean and over a sea
Beyond these great waters, oh what do I see?
I see the great mountains rise from the coastline
The hills of Cape Breton, this new home of mine

Oh, we come from the countries all over the world
To hack at the forest, to plow the land down
Fishermen, farmers and sailors all come
To clear for the future this pioneer ground

We are an island, a rock in a stream
We are a people, as proud as there's been
In soft summer breeze or in wild winter wind
The home of my heart - Cape Breton

Over the rooftops and over the trees
Within these new townships, oh what do I see?
I see the black pit-head,
The coal wheels are turning,
The smoke-stacks are belching
And the blast furnace burning
Aw, the sweat on the back is no joy to behold
In the heat of the steelplant or mining the coal
And the foreign-owned companies force us to fight
For our survival and for our rights


Over the highways and over the roads
Over the causeway, stories are told
They tell of the coming and the going away
The cities of Ontario [I've also heard 'America'] draw me away
The companies come and the companies go
And the ways of the world we may never know
But we'll follow the footsteps of those on their way
And ask for the right to leave or to stay


I believe this song was written by a Cape Bretoner, Kenzie MacNeil

Other well known Cape Breton songs (Gaelic) are: Oran do Cheap Breatuinn (song for Cape Breton) and An Innis Aigh (The Happy Isle - the poetic name for Cape Breton)

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