Notes

Original poem
by Cicely Fox Smith

Printable version

MP3 Sample

Pacific Coast (Victoria, BC)

Poem by C. Fox Smith in
SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, pp. 96-97, 1924

Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar 2004 (8/25/2004)
Tune: after traditional "Rolling Home"

Back to the List of Songs

Back to the
Charlie Ipcar Home Page

Half across the world to westward, there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber, and those China liners go;
Where the wind blows cold and gusty, off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam,
Out across the Straits at twilight, like the landfall of a dream.

Chorus:
There's a harbour that I know,
There's a harbour that I know,
Half across the world to westward,
There's a harbour that I know.

And I daresay if I went there, I'd find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory, setting all the clouds aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests on the quiet evening air,
Little things my heart remembers, nowhere else on earth but there.

Chorus

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling night and day,
And the wind across the water, singing just the same old way,
As it did among the rigging of a ship I used to know,
Half across the world from England, all so many years ago.

picture of Victoria Harbour circa 1900
Victoria Harbour
Chorus

Has it gone beyond my finding, gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset, flaming down behind Japan?
But perhaps I'll find the dream there that I lost so long ago,
Half across the world to westward, in a harbour that I know.

Chorus

Back to the top


PACIFIC COAST

Original poem by C. Fox Smith,
SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, pp. 96-97, 1924

Half across the world to westward there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber and the China liners go,
Where the wind blows cold at sunset off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam
Out across the Straits at twilight like the landfall of a dream.

There's a sound of foreign voices there are wafts of strange perfume
And a two-stringed fiddle playing somewhere in an upstairs room;
There's a rosy tide lap-lapping on an old worm-eaten quay,
And a scarlet sunset flaming down behind the China Sea.

And I daresay if I went there I should find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory setting all the skies aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests on the quiet evening air,
Little things my heart remembers nowhere else on earth but there.

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling all the night and day,
And the wind across the water singing just the same old way
As it used to in the rigging of a ship I used to know
Half across the world from England, many and many a year ago.

She is gone beyond my finding gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset flaming down behind Japan;
But I'll maybe find the dream there that I lost so long ago
Half across the world to westward in a harbour that I know
Half across the world from England many and many a year ago.

Back to the top


Notes:

C. Fox Smith is thinking back to her years in Victoria, B.C., after her return to England in 1913.


Additional revised verse:

There's a sound of foreign voices; there are wafts of strange perfume,
And a two-stringed fiddle playing somewhere in an upstairs room;
There's a rosy tide lap-lapping on an old worm-eaten quay,
And a scarlet sunset flaming down, beyond the China Sea.

Chorus

Back to the top