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ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)

17 Oct 99 - 07:17 PM (#124954)
Subject: Hiring Fair
From: msouthar@uswestmail.net

There's a song called "Hiring Fair", that I've been searching for. I have some of the lyrics, but not all. Starts out:

I went down to the hiring fair, For to sell my labor, When I spotted a girl in the very first row And I hoped I'd be her neighbor.....

And ends (I think)

And I thank the Lord and the Harvest moon. For the girl at the hiring fair.

If anyone knows this song, please send it to me.....

Thank you...

Molly


17 Oct 99 - 07:31 PM (#124958)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Hiring Fair
From: T in Oklhaoma (Okiemockbird)

Molly, the song is called "The Girl from the Hiring Fair" by Ralph McTell. It was reprinted in Sing Out! Volume 41 #4, Feb/March/April 1997, so if you can get a copy of that back issue, you'll have a copy of the song.

T.


17 Oct 99 - 10:57 PM (#125019)
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE HIRING FAIR (Ralph McTell)
From: Big Mick

This is a great song, very passionate. In my opinion, most men should be able to recall this time in their lives. Thanks to THE FAIR ONE for sharing it with me. It has become one of my favorites.

The Hiring Fair Ralph McTell

Intro Em…..C

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

My lodging was 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 grass and the moon rose over the Field.
Mmmmm……………………………… (instrumental smutty bit **grin**)

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.

Oh (G)all were dancing in the (D)lantern light and (Em)music filled the (C)air,
And I (G)thanked my (D)stars for the (C)harvest moon and the (Em)girl from the (Bm7)hiring (Em)fair. ()^^


18 Oct 99 - 01:57 AM (#125061)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Hiring Fair
From: Joe Offer

Gee, I guess I should have paid more attention to THAT one. I was playing that song just an hour ago, and didn't notice. I'm listening to it a lot more closely right now. Great song. It's on the CD called From Clare to Here: The Songs of Ralph McTell. I don't always understand McTell's singing all that well. Somebody posted a request for "Song for Martin" from that album. I was going to try to transcribe it, but I had trouble understanding many of the words.
-Joe offer-


18 Oct 99 - 09:26 AM (#125121)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Hiring Fair
From: Alan of Australia

And THE FAIR ONE (stealing Big Mick's hard work) does a great instrumental job on either piano or flute while I do an ordinary job of vocals & guitar. Interesting to watch people who are actually listening to the words.

Cheers,
Alan


12 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM (#210722)
Subject: The Girl from the hiring fair
From: GUEST,mel@melpitts.freeserve.co,uk

Can anyone supply tab or chords for "The Girl from the hiring fair" by Ralph McTell

Thanks

Mel


09 Aug 21 - 07:53 PM (#4115978)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: DonMeixner

The Girl From the Hiring Fair    Capo 2            Key=F#m                           Ralph McTell

[Am] [F] [Am] [F]

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

My [Am]lodging was dry and my [F]master fair and [C]I gave him full [G]measure,
But my [Am]envy grew like the [F]corn in the field for in [Em]his house was my [F]treasure,
And I'd [C]watch her carry [G]water, or [Am]drive cows from the [F]byre, [G]
And the [C]heat from the sun made the [F]corn grow [Am]strong and with it [G]my de[Am]sire.

[F] [Am] [F]

Well I'd [Am]see her in my [F]dreaming and [C]in my dreams ca[G]ress
Her [Am]eyes, her lips and her [F]dark brown hair, the [Em]curves beneath her [F]dress.
But [C]harvest time it [G]came at last, so [Am]heavy was the [F]task [G]
That the [C]women and the men worked [F]side by [Am]side and I had her [G]near at [Am]last,

[F] [Am] [F] [Am] [F]

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

And then she [Am]turned to me as the [F]sun went down and [C]all my senses [G]reeled,
As we [Am]lay there on the [F]scented ground and the [Em]moon rose over the [F]field.
When [C]all was safely [G]gathered in and we [Am]sat down to [F]rest [G]
My [C]trembling fingers [F]touched her [Am]arm, and she placed them [G]on her [Am]breast.

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

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

[Am] [F] [Am] [F] [Am] [F] [Am] [F] [Am]


10 Aug 21 - 02:21 AM (#4115998)
Subject: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Joe Offer

I'm hearing words just a bit different from others in this thread. Here's my transcription. A few word escape me - is it "lips" or "legs"? What's a "byre" - or is it "barn" or "briars"?

THE GIRL FROM THE HIRING FAIR
(Ralph McTell)

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

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

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

I swung harder with my scythe, few words between us passed
And I cursed my tongue-tied youthfulness and I hoped she'd hear my heart
And 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.

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

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 the music filled the air,
And I thank my stars for the harvest moon and the girl from the hiring fair.

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



I transcribed from a more recent McTell performance with better sound quality:

Also in the Ralph McTell album, Affairs of the Heart

McTell says he wrote this song for Fairport Convention, but then they didn't record it right away. It was unclear whether Fairport Convention ever got around to recording the song. Note that on the Ralph McTell recordings, the title of the song is "The Girl from the Hiring Fair."


10 Aug 21 - 03:48 AM (#4116004)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Jerry

Lips, surely. And yes, byre, which over here is an old word for a cow shed.


10 Aug 21 - 03:50 AM (#4116006)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Mark

A byre is a cowshed.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/byre


"in my dreams caress
Her eyes, her lips and her dark brown hair, and the curves beneath her dress." I think, in context, it's more likely lips than legs, don't you?

Fairport recorded it on Gladys' Leap


10 Aug 21 - 04:02 AM (#4116007)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Joe Offer

Thanks, Jerry and Mark. I agree. What about the last line of the first verse? Spoke or stole? Most transcriptions say "spoke," but that's not what I'm hearing on either recording.


10 Aug 21 - 04:30 AM (#4116009)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Dave the Gnome

Definitely spoke


10 Aug 21 - 06:57 AM (#4116025)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Nick

Not that it is in the least important but all Ralph McTell and Fairport Convention tracks start in Em.


10 Aug 21 - 08:57 AM (#4116037)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Nick

Chords I play a little different

Not that it is in the least important but all Ralph McTell and Fairport Convention tracks start in Em.

The Girl From the Hiring Fair               Key=Em                           Ralph McTell

[Em] [C] [Em] [C]

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

[Em] [C] [Em] [C]

ALL VERSES SAME

Fairport start the instrumental section playing Em C's then change key to Gm Ebmaj7 then back to Em C then back to verses as above


10 Aug 21 - 09:26 AM (#4116041)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: DonMeixner

This shows it pretty well.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7SUvQRV-yM


11 Aug 21 - 02:23 AM (#4116119)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Mark

Ralph's definitely in Em in the video.


11 Aug 21 - 08:26 AM (#4116152)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: Nick

I have always played it a la Fairport version. The C D C bit on the last line is played differently by Ralph McTell. Just play how I heard it. Learned it in a singaround I think


11 Aug 21 - 11:36 AM (#4116174)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: DonMeixner

Mark I should clarify: The band I am in does it in Fmim. I capo a long ways up the neck (8) and play fills and runs out of Am shapes. Hence the sheet I posted shows in Am.

Don


12 Aug 21 - 08:23 AM (#4116281)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Mark

Thanks Don. That makes sense - though I'm not sure capo 8 does!

I wonder where and when "I thanked my stars" became "I thanked the Lord". Ralph definitely sings the former.


12 Aug 21 - 08:25 AM (#4116282)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Mark

Just listened to the end of the "Gladys' Leap" recording by Fairport, and Simon sings "thanked the Lord". Interesting...


12 Aug 21 - 03:50 PM (#4116332)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords ADD The Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: DonMeixner

Mark, because my fingers are badly injured and thats were I can play those chords. Otherwise I'd just capo at 2 and play Em shapes. Thanked my stars or thanked the Lord? I don't know what my band mate sings. Either way the point is made I suppose. A great song just the same.

D


13 Aug 21 - 07:28 AM (#4116382)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: GUEST,Mark

Don,
Sorry to hear about your fingers, but glad you can still make music.


13 Aug 21 - 07:43 AM (#4116383)
Subject: RE: ADD: The Girl from the Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)
From: DonMeixner

Yeah, me too. I have had 35 years to get over it. :-)

D