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ADD: Hiring Fair (Ralph McTell)

07 Dec 96 - 03:46 PM (#673)
Subject: The Hiring Fair / Ralph McTell
From: Doc

Help,

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


27 Dec 96 - 05:58 PM (#932)
Subject: Lyr Add: The Hiring Fair (from Clancy Brothers)
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com

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


27 Dec 96 - 06:17 PM (#934)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com

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.


29 Dec 96 - 03:26 PM (#959)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From:

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...


29 Dec 96 - 05:49 PM (#961)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Susan of DT

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


06 Jan 97 - 10:24 PM (#1162)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley@toto.pitton.com

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.


07 Jan 97 - 08:13 PM (#1190)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Susan of DT

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?


27 May 97 - 03:47 PM (#5820)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: tweed

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


27 May 97 - 06:07 PM (#5823)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: hartley

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.


28 May 97 - 02:31 PM (#5862)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: LaMarca

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.


29 May 97 - 05:33 AM (#5893)
Subject: RE: The Hiring Fair
From: Alan of Australia

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.


29 May 97 - 08:20 PM (#5926)
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE HIRING FAIR (Ralph McTell)
From: Alan of Australia

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


17 Mar 04 - 01:56 PM (#1139282)
Subject: Chord Req: Ralph Mc Tell Hiring fair
From: GUEST,Graeme.

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


17 Mar 04 - 02:00 PM (#1139284)
Subject: RE: Chord Req: Ralph Mc Tell Hiring fair
From: GUEST,Ed

See this previous thread


02 Nov 04 - 07:06 AM (#1313992)
Subject: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: GUEST

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.


02 Nov 04 - 07:19 AM (#1313998)
Subject: RE: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: masato sakurai

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


02 Nov 04 - 07:22 AM (#1314000)
Subject: Chords Add: THE HIRING FAIR (Ralph McTell)
From: Chris Green

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


02 Nov 04 - 07:23 AM (#1314001)
Subject: RE: Chords for The Hiring Fair
From: Chris Green

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