Meaning of “Farewell” by Rod Stewart

“Farewell” is a highly emotional song released by iconic British rock singer Rod Stewart. The lyrics of the song eulogize a good friend of Stewart’s who died a few years before the song’s release.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Rod Stewart's Farewell at

In a 2018 interview with UNCUT magazine, Stewart cast additional light on the meaning of this touching tune. According to him, the song is about a deceased friend of his named Ewan Dawson.

Stewart and Dawson, who were roughly the same age, grew up together. According to Stewart, Dawson was more than a friend to him. He was someone he “idolized”. The sadness Stewart felt over the demise of his beloved friend was what led him to write the lyrics of “Farewell”. In eulogizing Dawson, the lyrics also bring back some fond memories of an exciting youth Stewart shared with him.

Stewart later referred to the song as a very moving one. To him, the highly moving nature of the song will make it a staple at many a funeral.


In an interview with the British tabloid newspaper, The Sun, Stewart described the song as a “love song to another man”. This man he is referring to is none other than his deceased friend “Dawson”, who died about “four or five” years prior to the song’s release. Stewart told the tabloid that Dawson was more like a brother to him.

Facts about “Farewell”

  • This isn’t Rod Stewart’s first song to be titled “Farewell”. In 1974, Stewart released a song of the same title from his fifth studio album titled Smiler. This isn’t the same song. Neither is it a remix or a new rendition of that 1974 song. This is a brand new song Stewart released in 2018 in honor of the memory of his lost friend.
  • “Farewell” was released on September 28, 2018. It is the third track on Stewart’s 2018 album, Blood Red Roses. FYI: Blood Red Roses is Stewart’s 30th studio album.
  • This moving tune was co-written by Stewart and English record producer and songwriter Kevin Savigar.
  • Owing to the fact that Stewart has another 1970 song having this same title, many have decided to title this one “Farewell 2018”. This is obviously to distinguish the 2018 song from the 1974 one.

Is “Farewell” one of the singles from the album Blood Red Roses?

No, it isn’t. That album was preceded by three singles. This track wasn’t one of them.

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