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ADD: Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)

DigiTrad:
THE HIRING FAIR
THE HIRING FAIR AT HAMILTONSBAWN
THE SALT


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Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs (134)
(origins) Origins: Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn (17)
ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell) (23)
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Lyr Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)-answered (6) (closed)
Lyr Add: Wreckenton Hiring (1)


Doc 07 Dec 96 - 03:46 PM
hartley@toto.pitton.com 27 Dec 96 - 05:58 PM
hartley@toto.pitton.com 27 Dec 96 - 06:17 PM
29 Dec 96 - 03:26 PM
Susan of DT 29 Dec 96 - 05:49 PM
hartley@toto.pitton.com 06 Jan 97 - 10:24 PM
Susan of DT 07 Jan 97 - 08:13 PM
tweed 27 May 97 - 03:47 PM
hartley 27 May 97 - 06:07 PM
LaMarca 28 May 97 - 02:31 PM
Alan of Australia 29 May 97 - 05:33 AM
Alan of Australia 29 May 97 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Graeme. 17 Mar 04 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Ed 17 Mar 04 - 02:00 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 04 - 07:06 AM
masato sakurai 02 Nov 04 - 07:19 AM
Chris Green 02 Nov 04 - 07:22 AM
Chris Green 02 Nov 04 - 07:23 AM
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Subject: The Hiring Fair / Ralph McTell
From: Doc
Date: 07 Dec 96 - 03:46 PM

Help,

I'm looking for the lyrics and guitar tab for "The Hiring Fair" by Ralph McTell originally on Fairport's "Glady's Leap".


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Hiring Fair (from Clancy Brothers)
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com
Date: 27 Dec 96 - 05:58 PM

I got this off of a Clancey Bros album so I can't guarantee exact words, but here is the way I sing it and the people seem to get the message:

As I went down to the hiring fair
In a place they call the Strand
Was there I hired for seven long years
With a man named Ulsterban


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com
Date: 27 Dec 96 - 06:17 PM

Sorry, my computer skills are still developing. Rest of the song--

Continue first verse--

And before I hired with Grady,
He was very nice to me
He promised me eggs and bacon,
But he never shook hands with me.

Chorus: Saying, you're welcome with me Johnny. And you know I'm a decent man
But little did I know what I had to do for Grandy Ultsterban.

2nd V
When I went up to me bed at night, I let an awful bawl
The fleas they led a fierce attack
And I got no sleep at all.
When I went down to me breakfast
What do you think I did see
But a dozen hungry children saying
Is there anything left for me
Chorus: Oh you're welcome with me, etc.

3rd V
I worked on Grady's farm
Till I was an awful sight
Me bones were pushing through me skin
For a worked for morn to night
One day I died and passed away
And Grady gave a grin
Saying, "He'll make good fertilizer
And there's plenty more like him.
Chorus: Oh, you're welcome with me, etc.

I sing the last chorus twice and end with "HEY". I think I sing it in G, but I haven't worked out the tab. I play it on a strum stick or mountain dulcimer by ear. Hope this helps. Let me know if you would like me to work out tab.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 2-May-03.


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From:
Date: 29 Dec 96 - 03:26 PM

Ralph Mactell wrote this for Fairport; they've re-recorded it on the new "acoustic" (meaning no Dave Mattacks) album on Green Linnet. Maybe the lyrics are clearer on the new recording...


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Dec 96 - 05:49 PM

It's also recorded by the Irish Rovers of their Unicorns record.


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com
Date: 06 Jan 97 - 10:24 PM

The version I took the above lyric from was a Irish Rovers' tape. Sorry, not the Clancey Bros. And upon listening again, I probably don't have the words exactly as they sing them and I guess McTell wrote them. But, the above might help if you listen and revise. Let me know if you get a truer version.


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Susan of DT
Date: 07 Jan 97 - 08:13 PM

The record jacket of the Irish Rovers Unicorn record does not credit Ralph McTell for this song, so it may not be the song Doc had in mind. Is it, Doc?


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: tweed
Date: 27 May 97 - 03:47 PM

I think that the person doing the hiring was Brady of Strabane (County Tyrone)


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley
Date: 27 May 97 - 06:07 PM

Brady of Starbane sounds good to me; it fits. What significance does it have just for my info. I'll start singing with this name. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: LaMarca
Date: 28 May 97 - 02:31 PM

Ralph McTell's "Hiring Fair" is a completely different song than the one mentioned above. It's about a young man and a young woman who both hire to the same farmer, work side by side for the harvest season and fall for each other(both figuratively and literally). It's a moody, fairly erotic song.

The Clancy Brothers/Irish Rovers song given above sounds like one of a large class of "bothy ballads" from Scotland and Ireland. Itinerant farm workers would gather at a hiring or "feeing" fair. Neighboring farmers/landowners would come to the fair and hire a work crew for the season for a set fee, usually with a verbal "contract" and handshake; this was called "feeing on".
The farmer was supposed to provide housing and food for the workers for the season. Housing was usually in poorly kept shacks called "bothys", hence the name "bothy ballads". The workers lived under very strict rules; they were usually forbidden to leave the property or fraternize with the opposite sex. A lot of songs sprang up about various landowners in the area, telling other workers about the food and lodgings at a particular farm, how strict the rules were, etc. Songs were also composed about adventures a worker had had in evading the rules of the place. Brady of Strabane would have been one of the local land-owners; the song was a funny warning to other workers that good ol' Brady wasn't a particularly generous boss to work for.


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Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 29 May 97 - 05:33 AM

The Clancy Bros/Irish Rovers song is definitely not the Ralph McTell song. I heard the Irish Rovers sing their song (trad I think) in the late 60s. I'm sure McTell's song is much more recent. When I get home this evening I will post the words which I've got from a Ralph McTell album.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE HIRING FAIR (Ralph McTell)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 29 May 97 - 08:20 PM

McTell's words as follows, chords as played by Foster & Alison in Sydney folk clubs.

THE HIRING FAIR
by Ralph McTell

Em C Em C

......Em.............................C.............G...................D.Bm7
Well I went down to the hiring fair for to sell my labour
...Em..............................C.............................D................Bm7......Em
I noticed a maid in the very next row and I hoped she'd be my neighbour
...G.................D...............................Em........................C
Imagine then my delight when the farmer picked us both
.....G.................D................C..............Em...............Bm7......................Em
I spoke not a word on the cart to the farm, but my heart beat in my throat.

Well my lodgings were dry and my master fair and I gave him full measure
But my envy grew like the corn in the field for in his house was my treasure
I'd watch her carry water or drive cows from the byre
And the heat from the sun made the corn grow strong and with it my desire.

Well I'd see her in my dreaming and in my dreams caress
Her eyes, her lips and her dark brown hair, the curves beneath her dress.
When harvest time it came at last, so heavy was the task
That the women and the men worked side by side, and I had her near at last.

So I swung harder with my scythe, few words between us passed
And I cursed my tongue-tied youthfulness and hoped that she'd hear my heart
When all was safely gathered in and we sat down to rest
My trembling fingers touched her arm and she placed them on her breast.

And then she turned to me as the sun went down and all my senses reeled,
As we lay there on the scented ground and the moon rose over the field.
Mmmmm....

Well she was safely gathered in my arms when from the barn
Drifted the sound of a violin and we hurried back to the farm,
And all were dancing in the lantern light and music filled the air,
And I thanked my stars for the harvest moon and the girl from the hiring fair.

And all were dancing in the lantern light and music filled the air,
And I thanked my stars for the harvest moon and the girl from the hiring fair.

Cheers,
Alan Foster


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Subject: Chord Req: Ralph Mc Tell Hiring fair
From: GUEST,Graeme.
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:56 PM

Any one got the chords for this brilliant song? G.M.R @ xtra.co.nz


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Ralph Mc Tell Hiring fair
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 02:00 PM

See this previous thread


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Subject: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:06 AM

Can anyone provide me with the chords or Tab for Ralph McTells The Hiring Fair. I have the words and would love to learn how to play it.


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Subject: RE: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:19 AM

It's posted at the thread: Lyr/Chords Req: Hiring Fair.


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Subject: Chords Add: THE HIRING FAIR (Ralph McTell)
From: Chris Green
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:22 AM

Voila! I've only done verse one as there's rather a lot of them, but the chords are the same for each verse!


Am                F
I went down to the hiring fair
G             Em
for to sell my labour,
Am                      F
I noticed a maid in the very next row
      Em                F
and I hoped she'd be my neighbour.
C          G
Imagine then my delight
         Am    G         F
when the farmer picked us both.
F                         Fmaj7
I spoke not a word on the cart to the farm,
                        Am
but my heart beat in my throat.

The verse that starts "She turned to me as the sun went down" is in effect a half verse - use the chords for the first few lines and then just play the chords to the second few!

Hope that makes sense!

Chris


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Subject: RE: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: Chris Green
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:23 AM

Bugger! Cross posted! I should add that the version I've done is taken from Fairport's live recording at Cropredy - pick the one you like best! :)
    It's too confusing to have two active threads on one song. I've moved all the current messages into the other thread, and I'm closing this one.
    Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor


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