Nova Scotia (pronounced /ˌnoʊvə ˈskoʊʃə/; French: Nouvelle-Écosse) is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi). As of 2009, the population is 940,397, which makes Nova Scotia the second-most-densely populated province.
The province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki(mi'gama'gi). Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. In 1604, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in Canada and the first north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British Conquest of Acadia happened in 1710. At this time the Capital Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax in 1749.
In 1763 Cape Breton Island and St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province was established in 1784.
In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation. Along with a large population who descended from Scotland, there are also Mi'kmaq, English, Irish, Acadian, African-Nova Scotians, German, Italian and many other peoples in Nova Scotia.
"Farewell to Nova Scotia" is a popular folk song from Nova Scotia of unknown authorship, collected by folklorist Helen Creighton. It is believed to have been written just prior to or during the First World War. "Farewell to Nova Scotia" brings the listener back to an age when Nova Scotia was renowned for "wooden ships and iron men". The song appears in the Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs. In 1808 a Glasgow newspaper printed "The Soldier's Adieu", attributed to Robert Tannahill. It has several lines and phrases in it that suggest it was a source of inspiration for the song.