Music like Dermot Kennedy

Dermot Kennedy

Dermot Kennedy


"The Parting Glass" is a Scottish traditional song, often sung at the end of a gathering of friends. It has also long been sung in Ireland, enjoying considerable popularity to this day and strongly influencing the style in which it is often now sung. It was purportedly the most popular parting song sung in Scotland before Robert Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne".

The "parting glass", or "stirrup cup", was the final hospitality offered to a departing guest. Once they had mounted, they were presented one final drink to fortify them for their travels. The custom was practised in several continental countries.

The earliest known printed version was as a broadside in the 1770s and it first appeared in book form in Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc. by Herd. An early version is sometimes attributed to Sir Alex Boswell. The text is doubtless older than its 1770 appearance in broadside, as it was recorded in the Skene Manuscript, a collection of Scottish airs written at various dates between 1615 and 1635. It was known at least as early as 1605, when a portion of the first stanza was written in a farewell letter, as a poem now known as "Armstrong's Goodnight", by one of the Border Reivers executed that year for the murder in 1600 of Sir John Carmichael, Warden of the Scottish West March.

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