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Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs

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


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn (16)
Lyr Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell) (19)
Hiring Fairs (2)
Lyr Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell) (6)
Lyr Add: Wreckenton Hiring (1)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell) (2)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell) (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
An Spealadoir
An Spealadoir 2 ("This is the tune that Rosie sang this tune to. I made it myself by trial and error" Brían. )
The Daysman
Magherafelt Hiring Fair
Strabane Hiring Fair


Tattie Bogle 12 Mar 18 - 02:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 12 Mar 18 - 02:10 PM
OldNicKilby 12 Mar 18 - 07:14 AM
Felipa 11 Mar 18 - 12:37 PM
Felipa 11 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM
Felipa 11 Mar 18 - 10:50 AM
Rog Peek 09 Jun 09 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Maire. 17 Mar 09 - 01:55 PM
pavane 01 Mar 06 - 11:33 AM
GUEST 15 Jul 04 - 10:07 AM
Felipa 22 May 03 - 11:04 AM
MMario 11 Apr 03 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Philippa 11 Apr 03 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Philppa 11 Apr 03 - 06:47 AM
Felipa 10 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Boab 10 Apr 03 - 03:23 AM
Felipa 09 Apr 03 - 03:26 PM
Felipa 09 Apr 03 - 02:55 PM
MMario 09 Apr 03 - 10:41 AM
MMario 09 Apr 03 - 10:16 AM
MMario 09 Apr 03 - 08:52 AM
Felipa 08 Apr 03 - 04:21 PM
Felipa 08 Apr 03 - 02:34 PM
MMario 08 Apr 03 - 01:38 PM
MMario 08 Apr 03 - 12:43 PM
Auxiris 08 Apr 03 - 03:16 AM
Felipa 07 Apr 03 - 04:40 PM
Wolfgang 07 Apr 03 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Boab 07 Apr 03 - 03:42 AM
Felipa 06 Apr 03 - 06:23 PM
ard mhacha 05 Apr 03 - 04:13 PM
Jenny Islander 04 Apr 03 - 06:08 PM
Dave Bryant 04 Apr 03 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Apr 03 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Q 15 Feb 03 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Jim I 15 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 15 Feb 03 - 10:56 AM
Ballyholme 14 Feb 03 - 11:05 AM
weerover 14 Feb 03 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,stooriefit 14 Feb 03 - 10:14 AM
weerover 14 Feb 03 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,dougboywonder 12 Sep 01 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Boab 12 Sep 01 - 02:13 AM
ard mhacha 11 Sep 01 - 08:24 AM
IanC 11 Sep 01 - 04:32 AM
ard mhacha 17 Aug 01 - 01:22 PM
Matthew Edwards 16 Aug 01 - 07:00 PM
Big Tim 16 Aug 01 - 05:42 PM
ard mhacha 16 Aug 01 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,folktrax.org 16 Aug 01 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 02:17 PM

Apologies: the correct title for that song is "Lads O' the Fair". Full lyrics posted by Don Meixner in 2004 (not on this thread).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 02:10 PM

Can't see that anyone has mentioned Brian McNeill's song, "The Trysting Fair at Falkirk"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 07:14 AM

Steve Thomason has written a superb "Hiring Fair " song Highly recomended


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 12:37 PM

lyrics, notation and recording of the Magherafelt May Fair:
Ma href=https://connollymusiccollection.bc.edu/document/542>https://connollymusiccollection.bc.edu/document/542

other recordings of this song include singers Gemma Hasson and Maranna McCloskey


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM

The Salt has been mentioned a few times and is in the DT. ITMA has a recording available to listen online https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/salt_jimmy_doherty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 10:50 AM

Brady from Strabane (recorded by Irish Rovers, Hugo Duncan, Furey Bros. according to the Web)

As I went down to the Hiring Fair in a place they call the Strand,
Twas there I hired for seven long years with Brady of Strabane.
And before I went and hired with him, he was very nice to me.
He promised me eggs and bacon, and he then shook hands with me,

Saying "You're welcome with me, Johnny. And you're with a decent man."
But little I knew what I had to do for Brady of Strabane.

When I went up to my bed that night, I let out an awful bawl.
For the fleas they made a fierce attack, and I got no sleep at all.
When I came down for my breakfast, what do you think I see,
But a dozen squawling children saying "Is there anything there for me?"

He said, "You're welcome with me, Johnny. And you're with a decent man."
But little I knew what I had to do for Brady of Strabane

I worked on Brady's farm til I looked an awful sight.
My bones were pushing through my skin, for I worked from morn til night.
One day, I died and passed away, and Brady gave a grin,
Saying "He'll make good fertilizer, and there's plenty more like him."

Saying "You're welcome with me, Johnny. And you're with a decent man."
But little I knew what I had to do for Brady of Strabane.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Rog Peek
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 12:26 PM

In "The Salt" posted by Auxiris the word 'piners' is shown as a 'misunderstood word'. Although Kevin Coneff uses this word in his version on his "The Week Before Easter", when he sang the song in concert at The Colston Hall, Bristol a few years ago, he substituted 'crubeens'. This prompted me to start this thread Piners?

When I sing this song I use the word crubeens.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mo lean le lua
From: GUEST,Maire.
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 01:55 PM

If anyone has these lyrics I would be sooo greatful.
My mother sang it with great gusto and I would love to learn it.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: pavane
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 11:33 AM

Thread creep!

Since I posted the note on Richard (or Dicky) of Taunton Deane, I have discovered that at the time the song was printed (C1837) my ancestors, including my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather (died 1848), were living in the Vale of Taunton Deane (Oake and Milverton). No Richards amongst them as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 10:07 AM

another one posted at Mudcat: Jobber from Clare or "Paddy from Clare"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 22 May 03 - 11:04 AM

I see the Cranbally Farmer is in the folktrax list, message of 16 Aug 01. Well, words and abc are in the mudcat forum.

see also the Galbally Farmer (or The Spalpeen's Lament of the Cranbally Farmer) or Darby O'Leary (where you'll get a link to the Galbally farmer thread for other versions)


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Subject: Tune Add: THE STRABANE HIRING FAIR
From: MMario
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 10:11 AM

X:1
T:THE STRABANE HIRING FAIR
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:D
A2c d2d|c2c B2B|d2e f2f|e2d c2A|
w:Ah from O-magh town on to Stra-bane one morn-ing as I took my
A3d2d|c2c B2B|c2e f2b|f2e f2B|B3-B3
w:way, All a-long the road seemed thronged, with lads and lass-es fine and gay._


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Subject: RE: The Strabane Hiring fair
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 06:49 AM

Robin Morton's comments about The Strabane Hiring Fair:

"It's a poor cloud that has no silver lining; the possibility of meeting a woman or man at the fair must always have been a hope.
"Bridget Maguire ... a sister of John [Maguire] ... sang this song with such a twinkle that I think she must have indulged in the pleasures she sang of.

"The girl in the song decides that in spite of the drawbacks marriage has much to commend it as an alternative to 'hiring'.

"Although she would have had some chores to perform for her husband's employer and his sife, these would have been easily balanced by the joys of bringing up her own family, and performing her 'wifely duties'. anything was preferable to the lonely life of a servant girl."


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Subject: RE: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Philppa
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 06:47 AM

extract from comments on The Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn (lyrics in DT) in Robin Morton, Folksongs Sung in Ulster. Cork: Mercier, 1970
"Hiring fairs were in full swing up to fifty [now 80] years ago and the one at the bawn is remembered as recently as forty years ago [1930]. Every town had a fair, as much a social as a commercial nexus. Not every fair, however, was used as a 'hiring fair' and those that were had the labour-hiring aspect superimposed on them once in six months. May and November seem to have been themonths favoured for 'hiring'; no doubt becuase May marked the beginning of the harvest season and November heralded preparation of the ground and planting.

"One man explained ot me that 'in them days there were no tractors, no balers, no hay cutters, only the scythe and a man's hands - it was all hand labour. If you were a workman's son, or belonged to a family that was brought up, or maybe you hadn't ever a farm, you went to the fair and if you were lucky, a man would come up and ask you 'are you hiring?' - you made your deal with him. He gave you a few shillings and you gave him your belongings - you were hired.'

... ...

"A man, who had never any need to hire himself, and thus had no axe to grind, told me of a scene he remembered forty years ago. 'I seen me in Monaghan town, there was a fella with a wee butt of a coat on him and he was hiringthis good likely-looking man for six pounds a month!- and you could buy heifirs for seven and eight pounds apiece; a man was cheaper than a cow!' I pointed out that the man would have received his 'keep' as well as the £6, to which he acidly replied - 'Aye, well he might give you something to eat - you got licking the plates or something; not too much. It wouldn't bust you anyway.' "


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Subject: RE: an Spealadóir
From: Felipa
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM

the lyrics given in Ó Baoill, see MMario's abc posted a few days ago,
are a fragment of an Aisling poem by Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin of Kerry (1748-1784). The only reason they are in this thread is because the other Spealadóir with lyrics posted goes to a variant of the tune. Some day an Spealadóir will get its own thread. But before that I will send MMario tune for The Strabane Hiring Fair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 03:23 AM

Wolfgang---you've been watching me------!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 03:26 PM

Robin Morton, who recorded J. Maguire, also published lyrics and tune of the Strabane Hiring Fair in Folksongs Sung in Ulster. Cork: Mercier, 1970. (In that book the title is given simply as "The Hiring Fair")


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STRABANE HIRING FAIR
From: Felipa
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 02:55 PM

okay, MMario, now that you've caught up, I've typed out the "Strabane Hiring Fair".

Lest anyone lately coming to this thread thinks that hiring fairs were unique to the northwest of Ireland, one of the first songs mentioned in the thread was the Scottish "Barnyards of Delgaty".

Omagh and Strabane are in Tyrone, N Ireland and John Maguire was from Co Fermanagh

THE STRABANE HIRING FAIR
from the singing of John Maguire

From Omagh town unto Strabane one morning as I took my way,
Sure all along the road seemed thronged with lads and lasses fine and gay.

It was there I spied a charming wee maid, she was walking slowly by herself,
For a-fear the rain her clothes would stain I did extend my umberel.

"How far do you travel along the road on this fine summer's morning oh!"
"It's 'til Strabane," she kindly says, "do you not know this is hiring day?"

"I fear the day it will be wet, although the morning does look fine
I fear my love," she then did say, "we won't be in for hiring time".

"Well if you consent to have a glass, let it be brandy, ale of wine,
We'll take a glass and then we'll pass and reach Strabane for hiring time."

She gave consent, away we went unto an ale-house by the way;
Glass after glass the time did pass, to we both forgot it was hiring day."

The clock struck three she smiled at me, "Kind servant boy the fault is thine,
The evening's wet and we're far from home, forby we missed our hiring time."

"Cheer up, cheer up my bonny wee lass, I do not mean to harm you.
For a marriage now I mean to try, for a servant boy proves always true."

"To marry a man I am too young, besides my mother has none but me
But I'll comply and I'll never deny I'll marry before I hire again."

That night we spent in merriment and married we were next day;
And every now and then she'd smile, and my hiring time was knocked astray.

Let lads and lasses all be true and listen to these couple of lines;
If you take a glass too long to last, you're sure to miss your hiring time."


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Subject: Tune Add: THE DAYSMAN
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:41 AM

X:1
T:THE DAYSMAN
C:Eddie Butcher
Q:3/8=50
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:C
z4zD|G G (G/2 G/2) G A (B/2 B/2)|B D D D2D/2 D/2|
w:I oncet was a_ days-man, I_ wrought cause an-ent And a
A A (A3/2 A/2) A d c|B G A B2B/4 B/2 c/4|
w:day in the_ week was kep' off for the rent; We had a
d e (d3/4 d/4) d G (G/2 G/2)|G (D/2 G/2) (G/2 G/2) B2G/2 G/2|
w:row o'er the_ hour-rs my_ blood bein'_ on_ fire,So I
B B z/2B/2 d (c/2 A/2) ^F/2 F/2|A (G/2 G) G/2 G3
w:packed up me dun-dle_ and I star-ted_ to hire


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Subject: Tune Add: MAGHERAFELT HIRING FAIR
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:16 AM

see Philippa's post Apr 3, 6:57 am

X:1
T:MAGHERAFELT HIRING FAIR
I:abc2nwc
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:G
z4G G|G4G2|B4B2|A4G2|G4G G|G4G2|
w:Would you hire with me, Tam Bo, Tam Bo? would you hire with
B4G2|A2G2E2|E4B B|B4B2|d4B2|
w:me, my heart and my Jo? would you hire with me? say
A2A2G2|A4G2|A4A2A2|B2B2G2|E2D2D2|D4z2
w:you and say I and what an a ran-tin' young wi-dow am I.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:52 AM

working on them! the ice storm in upsate NY has deranged things a bit...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 04:21 PM

I thought the previous message had failed to transmit. I wrote the following off-line. It's repetitive of the message before it, but there's also a bit of new info:

You'll notice that the words of the song given by Ó Baoill are completely different from those sung by Róise na nAmhrán and Máiread Ní Mhaonaigh and posted earlier by Brían. The tune is different also, though it is similar. See also the Magpie's Nest in the DT, with sound file.
It's not quite right to say that the song was on the first Altan album. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh sang An Spealadóir on the album "Ceol Aduaidh" which she made with other musicians such as Frankie Kennedy and Ciarán Curran, but they didn't record the album as an 'official' group called 'Altan'.

I hope MMario will soon be back with ABCs for the lyrics I posted, Magherafelt Hiring Fair (Tam Boy) and The Daysman.

The Salt is sung to a familiar jig tune; the same tune used for singing "The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn". Lyrics for the latter can be found in The Stone Fiddle by Paddy Tunney, but without the air. (I haven't looked to see if it's already somewhere on Mudcat).

The Strabane Hiring Fair has been mentioned (see folktrax message). The song is in the book Come Day, Go Day, God Send Sunday compiled by Robin Morton from the singing and life story of John Maguire, Co. Fermanagh farmer and singer (London: Routledge Kegan Paul, 1973). Maguire made a record for Leader. This is another courting song connected with hiring. In the book, Maguire also talks about his memories of hiring fairs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 02:34 PM

The Spealadóir in Ceolta Gael is a different song than the one posted by Brían, as you can see from the words. The tune is very similar but not the same. See the Magpie's Nest in the DT (If I were a king ... I would lay you down to nest in the magpie's nest) for the tune.

The Salt is also sung to a well-known air, a jig used also for singing "The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn"

There's a song from John Maguire of Fermanagh about the Strabane Hiring Fair in a book compiled by Robin Morton ... see folktrax message above - and a forthcoming message from me.

MMario, don't forget the other two tunes I sent you for this thread. Many thanks.


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Subject: Tune Add: AN SPEALADOIR
From: MMario
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 01:38 PM

Felipa/Philippa sent me the tadpoles for An Spealadoir - from (I believe) Ceolta Gael 2

X:1
T:AN SPEALADOIR
I:abc2nwc
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:C
z6(G F)|E D E C c e d c|B G F E F A G F|
w:Mo_ lean le lua is m'a-tuir-se, isni fear do bhaint ar teas-can-na. D'fhag
E D E C B, C D E|F2D3/2 D/2 D2(G3/2 F/2)|
w:ceas-ta buar-tha m'aig-i-ne le treimh-se go tlath,Ach_
E D E C c e d c|B G F E F A G F|
w:eigse is suad an tsean-a-chais i ngei-bheann crua isin an-a-cra Go
E D E C B, C D F|E2C C C2 (3(GA)B|
w:treith i dtua-tha leath-an Luirc gan reim mar ba ghnath, is_ gach
c B c B c d e c|(d B) G G G2(G A)|
w:ion-na-bhi-le bor-ab-chu-thaigh trean_-chum-ais d'fhas, De_
_B A B A B c d B|c2G E F2(G F)|
w: bhrol-la-stoc na so-na-chon do phrea-mhaigh onspainn, go_
E D E C c e d c|B G F E F A G F|
w: cant-lach foan-lag eas-bui-theach, Fa ghall-smacht ghear ag
da-na-raibh an
E D E C B, C D F|E2C3/2 C/2 C2z2
w:cam-sprot claon do sheal-a-bhaigh A saor-bhail-te stait


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Subject: Tune Add: THE SALT
From: MMario
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 12:43 PM

There is another version of The Salt in the DT.

This is what I have as the tune:

X:2
T:The Salt
C:
I:abc2nwc
L:1/8
K:C
z6(d c)|A D (F/2 E/2) D G c (A G)|(E C-) C2E (F|
G) c A D3/2 (F E) D3/2|(E G) A d f2e d|c A2z(c d) c A|
C3/2 F/2 E3/2 D3/2|D3


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SALT
From: Auxiris
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 03:16 AM

I see this is a recently revived thread and also that someone mentioned a song called "The Salt" earlier on. Here are the lyrics

Cheers, Aux

THE SALT
Kevin Conneff/Mrs. Chrissie Cunningham, Ardee, County Louth

Come all you young lads and young lassies, who hanker to work on the farm,
Now, be careful when choosing a master, it might serve for to keep youse from harm.

When I was a strapping young fellow, aged about seventeen
I hired myself to a farmer at the horse fair in Ballinascreen.

Now, his farm was way up the mountains and it all only heather and bog,
And me job, well, I got to look after his donkey, his goat and his dog

Now me, the farmer and his mother, we lived in a tumble-down shack,
His mother was well over ninety with the bones sticking out from her back.

It was only a tumble-down ruin, held up with ould yellow clay
The roof it was past all repairin', for the goat had the thatch et away.

His poor mother, she'd sleep by the fire, for the rain it came down on our bed--
And when I'd get up every morning, she'd be sittin' there noddin' her head.

The master was an awful ould skinflint, his heart was as hard as a stone--
He'd work me from daylight to darkness; in a month I was just skin and bone.

And he fed me on nothin' but piners? (Misunderstood word, sorry), he said they would make me a man;
Well, they damn near made me a dead one, eaten half raw off the pan!

Now, he had three ould hens and a rooster, one day they all died in the coop,
So he took them, he boiled them and salted them--we lived for a month on the soup!

Bad luck now, it never comes single, for the next day the nanny goat died:
So he skinned it, he boiled it and salted it--and made a bodhrán from the hide.

It was then poor ould Neddy, the donkey, he broke his hind leg and suffered great pain,
So he shot him, he skinned him and boiled him and called for the salt once again!

I thought, now, his mind was affected and myself I was going insane,
For when poor Fido died of distemper he called for the salt once again!

When I thought what happened, poor ould Fido, I couldn't sleep thinking that night;
And when I got up the next 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, says I, I'll get out in the fog,
I tripped in the yard with excitement and out he come runnin' with salt!

I took to me heels like a cowboy and over the hills like a hare,
I never stopped runnin' for a fortnight and I've never gone back to a fair!

Excess line breaks removed. --JoeClone, 12-Apr-03.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DAYSMAN
From: Felipa
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 04:40 PM

as sung by Eddie Butcher of Magilligan, Co Derry, Ireland on "Shamrock, Rose and Thistle", Leader Records, 1971 - from a recording of Eddie Butcher made by Hugh Shields in 1961. Eddie Butcher died in 1980.

THE DAYSMAN

I once was a daysman, I wrought cause anent
And a day in the week was kept for the rent,
We had a row o'er the hours, my blood being on fire,
So I picked up me bundle and I started to hire.

My mother with fleeching she near made me curse,
She says. "You'll go further and maybe fare worse;
I had a fiver saved up, it was hid in the byre,
So I broke up the bank and set off for to hire.

I stood at the fair from morning till eve:
Not a bid for my body did I e'er receive,
Says I to mysel' "It's a glass you require,
And stretch away home, for you're not going to hire."

I just had resolved when two lassies came by
And the one was well featured on me cast her eye;
Says she to the other, "Jean, here's our desire,
This man with the bundle; he's wanting to hire."

I knew by the joke and the way they were dressed
They were two servant* lasses, no more nor no less,
Though their impudent cheek I was forced to admire
The well featured one that had asked me to hire.

Ten pounds I was offered for to milk night and morn,
From all sorts of drink to be teetotal sworn,
On me nights with the neighbours to no call and pass
And then keep me han' off the young servant lass.

I was to be fed on the best of strong tea,
A duck egg to my breakfast, and that every day;
But in no case the servant no courting might stand
Says I, "On the mistress I'll first try my hand."

I threw my arm roun' her, she struggled and fought;
She seen that I had her, she knew she was caught.
So I split up the fiver and a drink I did share,
And I courted her home the night of the fair.

But still I'm a daysman and I work cause anent
And the day in the week's aye kep' for the rent,
But I have no fiver now to hide in the byre
For the bank is the wee lass that asked me to hire.

----

*Shields spells this word as 'sarvent'to approximate Butcher's pronounciation, & 'our' as 'oor'

fleeching means coaxing - "begging you to stay at hame," said Eddie Butcher

Shields notes: "Here from the nineteenth century is something we might call an Ulster bothy ballad. 'If you're working cause anent' said E[ddie],'you're feeding yourself and you're gettin the money but no meat ... you'd be paid so much a week.'. Hiring fairs were held twice yearly in May and November. Those held near the town of Magilligan were known by the picturesque names of the 'Rabble' (Coleraine) and the 'Gallop' (Limavady). They were good places to hear ballad singers. ...
... The only other version I have seen of it was a text printed in the Northern Constitution on 17 Nov. 1923.
The air is major, but with pentatonic traits."

Sheet music for the tune can be found in Hugh Shields, Shamrock, Rose and Thistle. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1981.

further notes from the book:
"... The first time E sang me this song he left out v. 5 with its explanation that the 'lassies' were two servants; without this verse the story is altered, with it a kind of rural irony adds relish to the good 'offer' made in v. 6-7. During Oct-Nov 1932, correspondence in the Northern Constitution revealed widespread discontent among farm workers hired for the season; boys were said to have emigrated to Canada because they were being offered £6-8 for six months (5 Nov.)"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 08:04 AM

Has Brian McNeil's "Trystin' Fair at Falkirk" had a mention (Boab)

Yes, it had, by GUEST, Boab on 12 Sep 01 - 02:13 AM

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 03:42 AM

Has Brian McNeil's "Trystin' Fair at Falkirk" had a mention--or does it not qualify as a 'hiring" song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 06:23 PM

you can find lyrics in Mudcat archives for the song I know as Next Market Day - A Maid Going to Comber

I wouldn't describe it the way Jenny does (though maybe she has a different set of lyrics) and the girl was going to the markets to buy "some hanks of fine yarn" and maybe to sell produce as well, but not to be hired for labour
///

what do you make of the number of songs relating the hiring fairs to courting rather than to hard work?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: ard mhacha
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 04:13 PM

"The next market day" is from the north of Ireland. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Jenny Islander
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 06:08 PM

Don't know any hiring fair songs per se, but there are some American tunes about hard work for lousy pay in a job one can't get out of.

There's "Diamond Joe," the one about the cowboy in the middle of nowhere whose boss is a scumbag he always seems to end up owing money to (in some versions the employees gang up and kill him so they can go home).

Two from Alaska are "Cannery Call" and "Workin' on the Slime Line." Pay's good at the cannery IF you work until you drop, then get up next morning and do the same, day in day out until the fish quit flooding in.

And I vaguely remember one called "The Next Market Day," about a girl who gets hired, all right, and goes home with gold in her pocket and an invitation to the next market day for the same. And all she had to do was sit down next to the nice man.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOY BILLY
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 08:19 AM

I know a version of the previous song, probably more recent called Boy Billy. It's usually sung by a woman, with a man giving the answers.

Where be you going to my Boy, Billy Boy ?
Where be you going to Billy my Boy ?
Where be you going, for evermore here below,
Down in the meadow so gay, so gay.

Spoken: I be looking for Hire Missus.

Then fee to me oh my Boy, Billy Boy,
Then fee to me oh Billy my Boy,
Then fee to me, for evermore here below,
Down in the meadow so gay, so gay.

What will you pay me Missus ?

Three pound and ten........etc

Spoken: Where will I sleep, Missus ?

You can sleep with my groom.......

But what if he poke me Missus ?

Then sleep with my maid.........

For Shame, Missus !

Then sleep with me.........

Where be Master then, Missus ?

Oh Master be dead........

How long's he been dead then, Missus ?

Seven long (pause for effect) Days (or Hours if you want)........

What did he die of then, Missus ?

Oh he got wore out...... or I poisoned his pastie.........

I think I'll try elsewhere, Missus.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Magherafelt Hiring Fair
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 06:57 AM

A widow goes to Magherafelt to hire a farm worker and ends up marrying one who drives a hard bargain!

1. "Would you hire with me, Tam Bo, Tam Bo?
Would you hire with me, my heart and my Jo?
Would you hire with me? say you and say I.
And what an's rantin' young widow am I.

(He says: "What wages, mistress?")

2. "Two pounds five," etc.

(He says: "Too little wages, mistress")

3. "Then two pounds ten," etc

(He says: "What diet, mistress?")

4. "Sowans and eels," etc. -
or
"Sowans, oats and water porridge"

(He says: "Too slippy diet, mistres?")

5. "Then potatoes and beef ...

(He says: "Where will I lie, mistress?")

6. "You'll lie in the loft,"

(He says: "The rats might eat me, mistress")

7. "You'll lie wi' the weans," ...

(He says: "The weans might kick me, mistress")

8. "Well then we'll get married," ...

When I saw this thread the first song that came into my mind was the Magherafelt May Fair (which has been recorded by Kevin Mitchell). The song above also bears Magherafelt in the title, but could belong almost anywhere. I see it has been mentioned in previous threads, and also as "Tam Boy". I copied these lyrics from a booklet by George Sweeny, "Hiring Fairs in Derry, Tyrone and Donegal". Derry: Guildhall Press,n.d. (circa 1985-86). I assume the "etc." menas that the ends of each line are repeated from verse to verse.

Tune to follow (eventually!)

The bibliography suggests a couple of other songs (which I might post later on if nobody else has done so):
"Hiring Fair (I Once Was a Daysman)" recording of Eddie Butcher on Free Reed Records
"The Hiring Fair at Hamiltons Bawn" published in Robin Morton Folk Songs Sung in Ulster. Cork: Mercier Press (is in DT)

and includes
Hugh Shields, Shamrock, Rose and Thistle: Folk Singing in North Derry. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1981

Jonathan Bell,"The Hiring Fairs" in Ulster Folkllife

Patrick Campbell, "Growing Up in Donegal" in Béalóideas, 1977


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 06:15 PM

Entering "Hiring Day" and "Hireing Day" in Search in the Bodleian Collection bring up three songs on the subject, with many duplicates of "The Hiring Day" (a copy of The Hireing Day is also in American Memory).
"The Hiring of the Servants" also concerns farm labor. In this song is the caution:

You farmers take warning I hear the people say
The servants of Ireland are all going away
They are going to America as you may understand
You must give them all wages or give up your land.

Interesting is "A New Song on the Hireing Fairs of Ulster," Ballads Catalogue 2806 C.7(32), which mentions "The cowboy with a staff or stave(?), Will mind the cows in brook or bray." If he emigrates he may become a "real" cowboy with horse and lariat.

"Country Statutes, or Hiring Day for Servants" (Ballads Catalogue Firth C 19(159) warns young girls of what may happen in 9 months time, as does "The Hiring Day."

As might be expected, these songs are Irish.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM

Norman Kennedy (mentioned above) also did "Sleepytoon" about being hired at the fair and about how it was not as advertised.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 10:56 AM

I got a good wee book on the (Irish) hiring fairs last time I was in Derry:

"Hiring fairs & farm workers in north-west Ireland" by Michael O'Hanlon. Guildhall Press[Derry?]. No date. ISBN 0 949451 20 6. Blurb by Dr Jonathan Bell, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Still in print I think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Ballyholme
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for posting the Hiring Fair, Weerover. My late grandfather was one of those labourers who hired out at fairs in County Antrim. That would have been around 1900, I suspect.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: weerover
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:41 AM

I should have added that there is a basic melody given for the last (Antrim) song. It is pretty much like the first line of "Banna Strand", repeated twice (is that a tautology?) for each verse.

wr


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,stooriefit
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:14 AM

I think what you lot are calling "hiring fair songs" are called Bothy Ballads in Scotland ,Bogie,s Bonnie Belle,Drumdelgie,Nicky Tams being only a tiny fraction of them. They describe life on the farms and in the bothy,s (where the single farmworkers or "bothy loons"lived,Loon being the term for boy)of North East Scotland during the later half of the 19th century and up until the late 1970,s


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HIRING FAIR
From: weerover
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:22 AM

I found this in a splendid little volume of songs sung in Inishowen and remembered the thread:

THE HIRING FAIR

As I roved down through Antrim Town
Through Antrim town I took my way
Where all around the road was clad
With lads and bonnie lasses gay

Sure I espied one amongst them all
How lonely she walked by herself
For fear the rain would her gown stain
I shared with her my umbrell'

Says I, "My lass, how do you do?
Or have you travelled far?"
"For Antrim town, kind sir, I'm bound
You know it is the hiring day"

Says I, "My lass, will you accept
A glass of brandy, ale or wine?
We'll have a glass before we part
And we'll be in about hiring time"

She gave consent and in we went
Unto an alehouse by the way
Glass after glass did merrily pass
Till she forgot her hiring day

The clock struck three, she smiled at me
She says, "Young man the fault is thine
I'm here alone and I'm far from home
And besides , I missed my hiring fair"

"Oh never fret, my dearest dear
I don't intend to harm you
For marriage I intend to try
For baker lads they all prove true"

"Kind sir, to marry sure I am too young
Besides my ma has none but me
But I'll comply, I'll never deny
I'll marry before hired I'll be"

So we drank a round with mirth and fun
And we got married the very next day
And every now and then she would say
"I'm glad I missed the hiring day"

Note says the original song came from Scotland where it was called "My friends and I left sweet Milngavie" - Milngavie is a suburb of Glasgow and is pronounced Mill-guy (or to a Glaswegian Mull-guy)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,dougboywonder
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 02:41 PM

I just found out that Fred Jordan became a farmer through being hired at a hiring fair. He undoubtably has a song about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 02:13 AM

Has Brian McNeil's "Lads o' the Fair" [the "Trystin' Fair at Falkirk"] been mentioned?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 08:24 AM

IanC, Good on you. "Its to the brose they said nae grace the time was unco precious", Ian, I would say that the pair of hirelings hadn`t an unco precious time with their masters. Two good songs. Thanks Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: Lyr Add: COME ALL YE JOLLY PLOUGHMAN LADS
From: IanC
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 04:32 AM

I'm reviving this thread as I've got a couple of songs for my old friend Ard Mhacha. I was in Dumfries last week, and I bought, in a secondhand bookshop, a copy of:

KERR CAMERON, DAVID "The Ballad and The Plough: A Folk History of The Scottish Farmtouns" (London, Gollancz, 1987).

Here's two untitled bothy ballads from the book.

"There was one man in particular to avoid in Turriff's Porter Fair." (pp 88-90)

    Come all ye jolly ploughman lads,
    I pray you, have a care,
    Beware o' going to Swaggers,
    For he'll be in Porter Fair

    He'll be aye lauch-lauchin',
    He'll aye be lauchin' there;
    And he'll hae on the blithest face
    In a' Porter Fair.

    Wi' his fine horse and harness,
    Sae well he'll gar ye true,
    But when ye come to Auchterless,
    Sae sair's he'll gar ye rue.

    He'll tell ye o' some plooin' match
    That isna far awa';
    And gin ye clean yer harness richt,
    Ye're sure to beat them a'.

    For the tackle's gained the prize afore
    At every country show;
    And gin that ye lat it fa' back,
    Ye'll be thocht little o'.

    A pair o' blues that lead the van
    Sae nimbly as they go;
    A pair o' broons that follow them,
    That never yet said no.

    A wee bit shaltie ca's the neeps,
    And, oh, but it is sma';
    But Swaggers he'll declare to you
    It's stronger than them a'.

    But he'll aye be fret-frettin',
    He'll aye be frettin' there;
    And he'll gie ye regulations
    That are worn a' threadbare.

    And Swaggers in the harvest time,
    He's got too much to do
    For the twa-three jovial laddies
    That ca's his cairt and ploo.

    Sae he'll gang on some twenty miles,
    Faur people disna him ken,
    And he'll engage some harvest hands
    And bring them far frae hame.

    He'll say unto the foreman chiel,
    "Keep aye the steady grind,
    And dinna lat the orra lads
    Fa' idle back behind.

    "For I pay ye a'guid wages,
    And sae ye maun get on,
    And gin ye are not able,
    There's another when ye're done."

    He'll say unto the girlies,
    As they are comin' back,
    "Come on, my girls, and hurry up,
    Gie them nae time to sharp."

    But noo the cuttin's ended,
    And we've begun to lead,
    And mony's the curious plan he tries
    For to come muckle speed.

    And noo the sheaves they are all in,
    And formed in the stack;
    And noo the windy days are come
    When we maun hunt the brock.

    Whe we maun hunt the brock, my boys,
    Wi' mony a fret and frown;
    And Swaggers cries, "Come on, my boys,
    It's like for to ding on."

    And when that we gang up the raips,
    He gets up wi' a bawl,
    Says, "Come on, my girls, ply in the twine,
    Ye're sure to beat them all."

    Now the harvest's ended,
    And a' thing is made snod;
    The harvest hands wi' bundles big
    They now must pad the road.

    They now must pad the road, my boys,
    Amang the frost and snaw;
    And they hae sworn a solemn oath,
    They'll ne'er come back ava.

    But Martinmas it has worn on,
    My fee's into my pouch;
    And sae merrily, merrily, I will sing,
    "I'm oot o' the tyrant's clutch."

    For he is the worst master
    That ever I did serve;
    And gin ye dinna me believe,
    Never mind ye this observe.

"Yet another ballad, from the same area, gives a reminder of the farmer's approach to a youngster [at his] first feeing fair." (pp 91-91).

    Twas in the merry month of May
    When flowers had clad the landscape gay,
    To Ellon fair I bent my way
    With hopes to find amusement.

    A scrankie chiel to me cam' near,
    And quickly he began to spier
    If I would for the neist half-year
    Engage to be his servant.

    "I'll need you as an orra loon;
    Four poun' ten I will lay down
    To you, when Martinmas comes roun'
    To close at our engagement.

    "Five shillings more will be your due,
    If you to me prove just and true;
    But that will be referred to you
    By my good will and pleasure."

    An' to a tent he then set sail,
    And bade me follow at his tail;
    And he called for a glass o' ale
    Therein to keep us sober.

    Said he, "A sixpence noo, my loon,
    I freely will to you lay down,
    Thrippence for ale I will pay soon,
    And thrippence buys my fairin'."

    When I went hame to my new place,
    And at the table showed my face,
    It's to the brose they said nae grace -
    The time was unco precious.

    Although our usage was but scant,
    Of wark we never kent the want;
    And aye to carry on the rant
    The farmer cried, "Come on, lads."

    An' when the hairst it did come roun',
    It's to a scythe I hid to boun';
    Likewise to draw the rake aroun',
    To keep the fields in order.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 01:22 PM

To all of you good people my grateful thanks, when I posted this thread I never imagined the amount of information I would receive. Annraoi you dirty muckle brute, wading through the cowpats on a respectable site. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:00 PM

Nice to have this thread refreshed. I'd agree with Wolgang that the Topic CD Come all my lads that follow the plough TSCD655 is a great resource. There is another in the same series There is a man upon the farm TSCD670 which has some relevant songs (besides having a great selection of songs in the first place):
Seán Mac Donnchaadha An Spailpín Fánach
Jamesy McCarthy Come To The Hiring

Another recording well worth listening to is from the School of Scottish Studies Bothy Ballads issued on Greentrax CDTRAX 9001, with a well researched booklet written by Hamis Henderson.
With regard to the list posted by GUEST above,apparently from Folktracks; this is a very valuable resource. Peter Kennedy who operates Folktracks collected a great number of songs in Great Britain and Ireland in the 1950's, many of which appeared on the seminal Caedmon/Folk Songs of Britain LPs in the 1960's. Peter and the team who worked with him deserve our undying respect for their efforts.
BUT, and it is with some distress that I add this; a number of people whose opinions I trust have expressed concern that Peter Kennedy has failed to acknowledge the singers and collectors who gave their material to him. Tapes have apparently been issued without the consent of those who sang or played,or collected, and I understand that no royalties have been paid in some cases. Personally I do not know all the in and outs of this issue, but I am not willing to support Folktracks until I have a clearer explanation.
I hope that this is a fair account; I would be happy if the Folktracks archive could be made available on terms which are fair to those singers, players, and collectors who created it,


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HIRING FAIRS OF ULSTER (O'Lochlainn)
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 05:42 PM

Ard, you're a card! How about this one from our old friend O'Lochlainn, THE HIRING FAIRS OF ULSTER, first verse,

The ploughboy with a steady hand,
He will engage to plough the land,
The dairymaid is well prepared, to mind her milk and dairy,
The cowboy with a staff or stave,
Will mind his cows by brook or brae,
The shoe boy too is wanted there to polish boots for ladies...

OK another verse,

The servants' wages now should rise,
As beef and butter got so high,
There’s ten eggs sold at pence a piece, turkey eggs three ha'pence,
The paper states the London price,
Of wheat and oats and bacon dry,
And Gladstone seeking tenant right, it's now in contemplation.

Slan, BT.

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 1-Dec-01.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: ard mhacha
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 01:07 PM

Hello Guest Folktrax, Any more on that Marlin Fair song. Slan ARD Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hiring fair songs
From: GUEST,folktrax.org
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 06:58 AM

HIREMAN CHIEL, THE - "There was a knight and a baron bright" - his son, after being well schooled and trained at the plough, goes off to be hired and what follows is a complex story of entangled lovers – ROUD#5624 - BUCHAN ABSNS 1875 2 p104-12 "The Baron turned Ploughman" - GREIG-DUNCAN 5 1995 #1055 pp518-532 13var 58v/7m – ORD BS&B pp480-6

HIRING see also FAIRS (also called "Mops" and "Statutes") - BARGAIN WITH ME/ MAGHERAFELT/ TAM BOY) – BARNYARDS O DELGATY - BOGIE'S BONNY BELLE - COME TO THE HIRING – COPSHAWHOLME - COUNTRY STATUTES – CRANBALLY FARMER - DAVIE HUNTER FEEIN' TIME – JOCKEY BRUCE O THE FORNET - MAINS O FOGGIELOAN - MARLIN FAIR - MUCKLE FRIDAY FAIR – NICKY TAMS – ROCKS O BAWN – TARVES RANT -- BBC LP 37157 Hiring Fairs at turn of century: interviews & music (not ABR) - FREE REED FRR-001 Seamus ENNIS Story - FRR- 003 Eddie BUTCHER Derry - FOLKTRAX FTX-019 Dicky LASHBROOK "Bargain with me"/ FTX-059 Talk about hiring: Jimmy Mc BEATH/ FTX-066 John STRACHAN Aberdeensh/ FTX-134 Bertha BROWN "Magherafelt Hiring Fair Song"/ FTX-175 John CORRY/ FTX-183 Duncan Mc PHEE Song: "Tam Buie"

HIRING DAY, THE - to tune of "The Spanish Lady"-- Michael GALLAGHER rec by Peter Kennedy, Belleek, Co Fermanagh 7/7/52 HIRING FAIR, THE - "From Omagh Town unto Strabane" - Servant goes into alehouse to meet a girl and marry her - tune: As I walked through Dublin City or THE SPANISH LADY - ROUD#2905 - DUNCAN W357/ M1239 "The Feeing Times" - MORTON FSU 1970 #24 pp38-40 Biddy Maguire, Follom, Co Fermanagh - MORTON CDGD 1973 p34 "Strabane Hiring Fair" - TOCHER 30 (1979) p403 "Aberfeldy Fair" rec by Hamish Henderson from Donald MacMartin, Coldingham Berwicksh -- Michael GALLAGHER rec by Peter Kennedy, Belleek, Co Fermanagh 20/7/52: 7"RTR-0554/ FOLKTRAX 163 - Biddy MAGUIRE rec by Robin Morton, Co Fermanagh: MERCIER IRL-12 1970 - Eddie BUTCHER, rec by Robin Morton, Magilligan, Co Derry: FREE REED FRR-003 1976 "I once was a daysman"

HIRING FAIR AT HAMILTONSBAWN, THE - "Come all ye lads and lassies and listen unto me" - "man called Tom McCann" - ROUD#2890 - MORTON FSSU 1970 pp36-38 Bob Wallace, Ballylisk, Co Armagh

HIRING FAIR AT KELSO - see VICTORIA WALTZ


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