Farewell To The Gold


Jon enthuses “This is a great anthemic number. I know it from Nic Jones’ version but also from James Fagan and Ian Giles. What a great chorus.”

Nic has this on Penguin Eggs of course and it’s written by Paul Metsers. In this case I’ll simply refer you to Mainly Norfolk as Reinhard has a note from Paul explaining how the song came about. You can also link to Paul’s website here and you’ll note his debt of thanks to Nic for the inclusion. Having moved to the UK and been active on the folk circuit through the 80s, he’s long since stopped the national touring although still plays locally to his Kendal home. You’ll find his CDs are being made available to mail order and you can listen to some samples as well. It’s surely worth a few minutes. You might also like a quick Wiki at the story of the New Zealand gold rush as there’s some fascinating stuff to be read there. I’ll note not for the first time that the trades that set up to support the prospectors were more profitable than most of the gold mining and panning that went on. There clearly was a substantial amount of gold to be had, but it would take some serious equipment and modern processes to extract it in any serious quantity. It must have been an unbearable life for most, always one shovel full away from a strike.



29 Responses to “Farewell To The Gold”

  1. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    An excellent song…….well done Paul Metser…and Jon’s voice just right for this one.

  2. John Biggs says:

    What a wonderful song, and what a great chorus. Beautifully sung Jon.
    The songs of Martin Curtis are well worth checking out for further pictures of New Zealand during this period.

  3. Paul T says:

    Nicely done, Jon.

  4. Nick Passmore says:

    Lovely job! The line “And it’s years since the colour I’ve seen” reminded me of Rose Tremain’s novel “The Colour”, which is also set in the New Zealand gold rush, and is a very good read indeed (like all of her novels that I’ve read..)

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    “…always one shovel full away from a strike…” Yup, I can relate to that!

    Thanks for the link to Paul Metsers’ site, Skyman.

  6. Diana says:

    A lovely one, beautifully sung Jon.

  7. Reynard says:

    I’ve got an invitation to an event in London next Thursday (May 31). Can someone recommend a not too expensive hotel or B&B for a night?

  8. Diana says:

    Congrats Reynard I am glad you have got an invite. Lucky you! You want to get as near to Goodge Street Station as possible. There are several within a reasonable distance but it all depends on what star rating you want. But goggle hotels near Goodge Street Station and there are quite a few fairly near.

  9. Reynard says:

    Thank you Diana. When I booked my flight they offered a selection of hotels and I found one for about 70€ in Sussex Gardes 1.7 miles from the venue.

    And “I’ve got an invitation” is a bit pretentious – I just won one of the tickets in the competition on Folk Radio.

  10. Diana says:

    I am really delighted for you Reynard. I should have thought the odds were astronomical to win on Folk Radio so that was truly a bonus. Well the hotel you have booked into isn’t too far away – I know that London can be more than a little daunting as I always found it when I was there. Still the London Underground is certainly the way to get around. I remember your remark, to Jane I believe, about not entering the competition as it would lengthen the odds for you. Still thrilled for you – well done! 🙂

  11. Reynard says:

    I hope you didn’t take my cheeky comment seriously and didn’t compete because of that, Diana!

    And the distance isn’t really far, perhaps a good half an hour to walk; i regularly use my bike for the 13km from home to work. Don’t know how safe it is in a strange town at night but you’ll very probably assure me that it’s not a problem. I’m more worried about finding the way to Luton Airport on Friday in time. But there’s still a week to find connections, timetables and such.

  12. Diana says:

    Reynard all I can say is please be careful – not many cities or anywhere else for that matter seems completely safe these days. Perhaps a taxi might be a safer bet if you are out late. Goodge Street tube is on the Northern Line if that is any help.

    As for Luton Airport all airports seem to be dreadful to get too and find your way around – Manchester airport is no exception to this. Still as you won’t be parking a car things should be a litle easier, but do travel light then you won’t waste so much time waiting for a suitcase to arrive on the carousel. A rucksack seems to be much better as this is hand luggage and you can keep it with you. You probably know all this anyway and I am preaching to the converted.

  13. Diana says:

    Please tell me that I don’t sound just like your Mother – do this and don’t do this Reynard. It isn’t intentional. Anyway it looks like some kind soul eg. Simon is going to take you under his wing and it would appear that you are in for a good time. I am pleased about that rather than you being on your own in London.

  14. Muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    Great song and chorus………….
    It must really annoy fellas that write songs when ‘parasites’ like me roll up and suggest that it needs just one more verse as it ends too abrubtly……..perhaps:-

    My spirit was broken, I took this as a token
    And with heaviness deep in my heart
    I leave Jimmy behind with his dreams now unspoken
    I’ll away and I’ll make a fresh start

  15. Diana says:

    Great ending MUzza!

  16. Linda says:

    Morning Muzza time for a quick chorus
    Nicely sung Jon

  17. OldMuzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    This is a great song………….and Linda and I will be engulfed in the chorus….
    followed by a couple of …..’arrrr dee do dah dee do dah days’ and ‘I’ve got a beautiful feelin’-every thing’s going my way….what a way to start a mornin’.
    Wow……did I get caught in a storm on the A34 near Oxford yesterday afternoon..thought my time had come……needed a couple of ‘Fol de Rols’ to calm my nerves

  18. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Really really like this song……………and I had forgotten all about it until good old AFSAD reminded me today…………….really must learn it as part of my efforts to keep the old brain active and ward off senility (cripes Bunter- hope I’m not too late!!!!)

  19. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.U) says:

    What can I say…..love it…especially the chorus…..
    ref the tune…can hear bits of ‘Valley of Tees’ & streets of London in there

  20. old Muzza (NW Surrey) says:

    So glad that I’m still clinging to the wreckage and able to hear this again

  21. Linda says:

    After a very long day this was a beautifully sung song…..

  22. John Bryson says:

    I’ve had a go at this, but not got it right yet for me to belt out at the White Horse Folk Club. In my humble opinion, a great song

  23. old Muzza (NW Surrey) says:

    Further to my comment 23rd may 2013 above…….I tweaked more of the words for me to sing…forgive me Paul….
    Farewell to the Gold (Paul Metser 1968)
    (italics are alternative words by Mike Musgrove-except chorus)

    1)Shotover River, your gold strike is waning;
    It’s weeks since a glitter I’ve seen.
    But it’s no use just sitting and Lady Luck blaming,
    So I’ll pack up and make the break clean

    Farewell to the gold that I never found,
    Goodbye to the nuggets that somewhere abound;
    For it’s only when dreaming that I see you gleaming
    Down in the dark – deep underground

    2)Well, it’s nearly two years since I left my old mother
    For adventure and gold to be found,
    With Jimmy the prospector—he was like an old brother
    For the hills of Otago we were bound. CH

    3)We worked the Cardrona’s dry valley all over,
    Old Jimmy Williams and me.
    But they were panning good dirt on the winding Shotover
    So we headed down there just to see. CH

    4)We sluiced and we cradled for day after day,
    Making hardly enough to get by;
    Until a terrible flood swept poor Jimmy away
    During six rain-lashed days in July. CH

    MM composed & re-vamped this last verse
    5) My spirit was gone, losing Jimmy, an omen
    And with hopelessness deep in my heart
    I left Jimmy behind, our dreams shattered and broken
    Perhaps, someday I’ll make a fresh start CH

  24. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Yep….a great song and someday I’ll get round to getting my offering onto Youtube before the old fingers and voice seize up

  25. oldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Another year has flashed by and now we have the corona virus (along with old age) sitting on my shoulder….will I hang on to hear it next year!

  26. Linda says:

    Hang in there Muzza …….. Like this song

  27. John Bryson says:

    As Linda says, hang in there Muzza!

  28. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Wey Hey…still love this one and still sing it to myself at least once a week.
    Ha….remember Terry Waite saying that he got through his five years imprisonment by recalling great tracts of the bible that he had memorised…well I go through my repertoire of sogs when in hospital[ l waiting rooms etc(in my head of course!) and this one is always the first I think of (of which I think!)

  29. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Ok Daiana…ref above…should be “songs” rather than sogs!
    I know she’ll be chuckling about that…she probably made me do it!

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