When I was a strapping young fellow
Aged about seventeen
I hired meself to a farmer
At the Horse Fair in Ballinascreen
His farm was way up the mountain
There was nothing but heather and bog
And me job - sure I had to look after
His chickens, his goat and his dog
Now me, the farmer and his mother
We all lived in a tumbledown shack
His mother was well over ninety
With the bones sticking out of her back!
His poor mother she slept by the fire
For the rain it came down on her bed
And when I'd get up every morning
She'd be sitting there nodding her head!
The master was an awful oul skinflint
His heart was as hard as a stone
He worked me from daylight till darkness
In a month I was just skin and bone.
He fed me on nothing but "piners"
He said they would make me a man
Well they damn nearly made me a dead one
Eaten half raw off the pan
Now he had three oul hens and a rooster
One day they all died in the coop
So he plucked them, he boiled them and salted them
And we lived for three weeks on the soup!
Bad luck now it never comes single
For the next day the nanny goat died
So he skint it, he boiled it and salted it
And made a bodhran from the hide!
It was then poor old Neddy the donkey
He broke his hind leg and suffered great pain
So he shot him, he skint him and boiled him
And called for the salt once again
I thought, now, his mind was affected
And meself, I was going insane
For when poor Fido died of distemper
He called for the salt once again!
When I thought of what happened poor old Fido
I couldn't sleep thinking that night
And when I got up in the morning
I got a most horrible fright!
His poor mother was dead by the fire
When I ran for the door he cried "Halt"
"Where are ye going so early?
Come back here and help me to salt!"
Well I went through the door like a rocket
Sez I - I'll get out of this vault
I tripped in the yard with excitement
And out he came running with salt.
I took to me heels like a cowboy
I went over the hills like a hare
I never stopped running for a fortnight
And I never went back to a fair!
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