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Lyr Req: The Humours of Donnybrook Fair

zander (inactive) 02 Jan 00 - 05:06 AM
Brakn 02 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM
Bruce O. 02 Jan 00 - 02:49 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jan 11 - 12:13 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jan 11 - 07:37 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jan 11 - 07:45 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jan 11 - 12:16 PM
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Subject: The Humours Of Donnybrook Fair
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 05:06 AM

I have been looking for the words to this song for a long time with no success. I have a recording by the Clancy Brothers but some of the words are unclear. It is sung to the tradional jig tune The Black rogue.

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From: Brakn
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM

To Donnybrook steer, all you sons of Parnassus
Poor painters, poor poets, poor newsmen, and knaves
To see what the fun is, that all fun surpasses
The sorrow and sadness of green Erin's slaves
Oh Donnybrook, jewel! full of mirth is your quiver
Where all flock from Dublin to gape and to stare
At two elegant bridges, without e'er a river
So success to the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

O you lads that are witty, from famed Dublin city
And you that in pastime take any delight
To Donnybrook fly, for the time's drawing nigh
When fat pigs are hunted, and lean cobblers fight
When maidens, so swift, run for a new shift
Men, muffled in new sacks, for a shirt they race there
There jockeys well booted, and horses sure-footed
All keep up the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

The mason does come, with his line and his plumb
The sawyer and carpenter, brothers in chips
There are carvers and gilders, and all sorts of builders
With soldiers from barracks and sailors from ships
There confectioners, cooks and printers of books
There stampers of linen, and weavers, repair
There widows and maids, and all sorts of trades
Go to join in the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

There tinkers and nailers, and beggars and tailors
And singers of ballads, and girls of the sieve
With Barrack Street rangers, the known ones and strangers
And many that no one can tell how they live
There horsemen and walkers, and likewise fruit hawkers
And swindlers, the devil himself that would dare
With pipers and fiddlers, and dandies and diddlers
All meet in the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

'Tis there are dogs dancing, and wild beasts a-prancing
With neat bits of painting in red, yellow and gold
Toss-players and scramblers, and showmen and gamblers
Pickpockets in plenty, both of young and of old
There are brewers and bakers and jolly shoemakers
With butchers, and porters, and men that cut hair
There are mountebanks grinning, while others are sinning
To keep up the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

Brisk lads and young lasses can there fill their glasses
With whiskey, and send a full bumper around
Jig it off in a tent till their money's all spent
And spin like a top till they rest on the ground
Oh, Donnybrook capers, to sweet catgut-scrapers
They bother the vapours, and drive away care
And what is more glorious - there's naught more uproarious -
Huzza for the humours of Donnybrook Fair!

Regards Mick Bracken

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Subject: RE: The Humours Of Donnybrook Fair
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 02:49 PM

"The Black Rogue" is only one of many titles for the tune, and it is not the oldest one. Check |1486| in the Irish tune index on my website (and Johnnie MacGill in the Scots Tunes Index). ABCs of three versions are T020A-C in the Miscellaneous tune file there, and T020D is one half of one copy of "The Basket of Oysters" (the other half usually being "Greensleeves"). Whether the original was the Scots "Johnnie MacGill" or the Irish "Blarney Castle" I don't know. Both appeared about the same time. The Scots claim that John MacGill composed it, about which I have considerable doubt. (Note there are two other tunes called "Johnnie Macgill, also.)

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:13 AM

Evidently an unrelated song with the same title—this must have been popular, though, because it can be found in about 30 books.

From The Universal Songster, or, Museum of Mirth, Vol. 1 (London: John Fairburn, et al., 1825), page 195:

Air—"The Athlone Landlady."—(O'Flaherty.)

Oh! 'twas Dermot O'Rowland M'Figg
That could properly handle the twig!
He went to the fair,
And kicked up a dust there,
In dancing the Donnybrook jig,
With his twig,
Oh! my blessing is Dermot M'Figg.

When he came to the midst of the fair,
He was all in a paugh for fresh air,
For the fair very soon
Was as full as the moon,
Such mobs upon mobs as were there,
Oh, rare!
So more luck to sweet Donnybrook Fair.

The souls they came crowding in fast,
To dance while the leather would last,
For the Thomas-street brogue
Was there much in vogue.
And oft with the brogue the joke passed
Quite fast,
While the cash and the whiskey did last.

But Dermot, his mind on love bent,
In search of his sweetheart he went,
Peeped in here and there,
As he walked through the fair,
And took a small taste in each tent
As he went;
Och! on whiskey and love he was bent.

And who should he spy in a jig,
With a meal-man, so tall and so big,
But his own darling Kate,
So gay and so neat,—
Faith, her partner he hit him a dig,
The pig!
He beat the meal out of his wig.

Then Dermot, with conquest elate,
Drew a stool ne'er his beautiful Kate;
Arrah, Katty! says he,
My own Cushlamachree!
Sure the world for beauty you beat,
So we'll just take a dance while we wait.

The piper, to keep him in tune,
Struck up a gay lilt very soon,
Until an arch wag
Cut a hole in his bag
And at once put an end to the tune,
Too soon,
Och! the music flew up to the moon.

To the fiddler, says Dermot M'Figg,
If you'll please to play "Shelah na Gig,"
We'll shake a loose toe
While you humour the bow,
To be sure, you won't warm the wig
Of M'Figg,
While he's dancing a tight Irish jig.

But, says Katty, the darling, says she.
If you'll only just listen to me,
It's myself that will show
Billy can't be your foe,
Though he fought for his cousin, that's me.
Says she,
For sure Billy's related to me.

For my own cousin-german, Ann Wild,
Stood for Biddy Mulrooney's first child,
And Biddy's stepson,
Sure he married Bess Dunn,
Who was gossip to Jenny, as mild
A child
As ever at mother's breast smiled.

And, may be, you don't know Jane Brown,
Who served goat's whey in Dundram's sweet town,
'Twas her uncle's half-brother
That married my mother,
And bought me this new yellow gown,
To go down
Where the marriage was held at Milltown.

By the powers! then, says Dermot, 'tis plain,
Like a son of that rapscallion Cain,
My best friend I have kilt,
Though no blood there is spilt,
And the devil a harm did I mean,
That's plain;
But by me he'll be ne'er kilt again!

Then the meal-man forgave him the blow,
That laid him a-sprawling so low,
And, being quite gay,
Asked them both to the play,
But Katty, being bashful, said "No,
No, no!"
Yet he treated them all to the show!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Humours of Donnybrook Fair
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 07:37 AM

Nice one, Jim! I've never heard it sung but, as I read it, THIS TUNE comes into my head.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Humours of Donnybrook Fair
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 07:45 AM

paugh, incidentally, may be an Anglicisation of the Irish word "paidhc" meaning "a poky place"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Humours of Donnybrook Fair
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:16 PM

BTW: Donnybrook, Dundrum (note spelling) and Milltown are within a mile or two of each other.


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