Vaya Con Dios
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Vaya Con Dios

Vaya con Dios was a popular song written in 1953 by Buddy Pepper, Inez James, and Larry Russell. Anita O’Day (with Orchestra conducted by Larry Russell) first recorded it in December 1952. Then, she released the song in April 1953 on her single, Ain’t This a Wonderful Day.

Les Paul and his then-wife Mary Ford also recorded and released the song in 1953 in their single, Vaya con Dios (May God Be with You). The musical duo’s recording became the most popular version, which was evident in its chart performance. For example, it reached the top 1 position on the Billboard and Cash Box chart in 1953. Moreover, the song stayed on the charts for weeks after its release.

Members of The Western Writers of America included the song in the Top 100 Western Songs of all time.

Popular Recordings

Hundreds of artists recorded their versions of the song. Aside from the previously mentioned artists, among the notable recordings were by:

  • Bing Crosby
  • Pat & Shirley Boone
  • Kitty Kallen
  • Anita Bryant
  • Emile Ford and The Checkmates
  • The Drifters
  • Ray Price
  • Sylvia Syms
  • Inez and Charlie Foxx
  • The Cats
  • Freddy Fender
  • Gloria Jones
  • Roger Whittaker
  • Anne Murray
  • Jeff Beck feat. Imelda May
  • Carolyn Martin


Several artists and songwriters recorded their musical adaptation of the song Vaya con Dios. These include:

  • Sari van Praag (Dutch, 1953)
  • Henri Contet (French, 1953)
  • Erik Diesen (Norwegian, 1953)
  • Sven-Olof Sandberg (Swedish, 1953)
  • Kurt Feltz (German, 1953 and 1991)
  • Knud Pheiffer (Danish, 1954)
  • György G. Dénes (Hungarian, 1958)
  • Isaías Gamboa (Spanish, 1960)
  • Zdeněk Borovec (Czech, 1966)
  • Ettore Carrera (Italian, 1968)
  • Juha Vainio (Finnish, 1983)
  • Michel Jourday (French, 2013)

Listen to Vaya Con Dios (Les Paul & Mary Ford Version)

Vaya con Dios Lyrics

Now the hacienda's dark, the town is sleeping
Now the time has come to part, the time for weeping
Vaya con Dios, my darling
Vaya con Dios, my love

Now the village mission bells are softly ringing,
If you listen with your heart, you'll hear them singing
Vaya con Dios, my darling
Vaya con Dios, my love

Wherever you may be, I'll be beside you
Although you're many million dreams away
Each night I'll say a prayer, a prayer to guide you
To hasten every lonely hour of every lonely day

Now the dawn is breaking through a gray tomorrow,
But the memories we share are there to borrow
Vaya con Dios, my darling
Vaya con Dios, my love


Vaya con Dios, my darling
Vaya con Dios, my love.

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