DURHAM TOWN (The Leavin') - chords and comments

At the bottom you'll find a link to the complete lyrics.

The working title for this song was "The Leaver", and it first appeared on Whittaker's 1969 album "This is...Roger Whittaker". The renamed single "Durham Town (The Leavin')" was released October 1969.

This was a compromise between artist and producer. Originally, Whittaker located the song to Newcastle, where the river Tyne certainly runs through. The producer's opinion was that "Durham" sounded better, and the artist and songwriter agreeded. He was not native to any of these towns; he was born and raised in Kenya, and the parents were from Staffordshire. The fact that Tyne certainly doesn't run through Durham - the river Wear does, twenty miles south - well, close enough. The rhymes won and the geography lost. Who cares about the way the river flows?

The song was included with the US release of "New World in the Morning" on RCA, and became together with "The Last Farewell" his international breakthrough: a career spanning more than 50 years and worldwide - in the genre they call "easy listening". What's that? If music should have been difficult and troublesome, not many humans would have had much pleasure of it. Whittaker was a straight forward entertainer, singer/songwriter, and I adore him for that.

He left us, 13th of September 2023, at the age of 87. I never covered his songs until now, because they were impossible to twist and make personal. That man performed them best himself. Now he doesen't anymore. Somebody must keep on his good work. Hope You will.
A            E7        D      E
I've got to leave old Durham town
A            D         E7     A
I've got to leave old Durham town
A            C#7       F#m    D6
I've got to leave old Durham town
         C#m            E      A
and the leavin's gonna get me down

A        E7       D    E    
back in nineteen fortyfour
A           C#7          F#m      E6
I remember daddy walking out the door
A     E7             D        E            F#m           
mama told me he was going to war : he was leavin'
Dmaj7                           E ...
leavin' leavin' leavin' leavin' me ...
A major
D major
D sixth
D major seventh
E major
E seventh
C sharp seventh
C sharp minor
F sharp minor
Roger Whittaker