Digital Tradition Mirror

The Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn

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The Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn

Come all you lads and lassies and listen unto me,
Till I relate a sad mistake of my sad destiny;
I went up to the hiring fair to the place called Hamilstonbawn
And for six long months I hired with a man called Tom McCann.

He brought me home that evening and made me lots of tea
He fried me eggs and bacon and then he shook hands with me.
Saying, "you must be good worker and do the best you can,
If you don't I'm afraid you won't be here." says Mr. Tom McCann

The weather it being stormy all in the wintertime,
I had roads to make and drains to clean, to mix and scatter lime.
My other occupation was to plough and till the land,
If you know what I came through with that Mr. Tom McCann.

When I went to bed at night upon it I would roll,
The fleas they made a strong attack my kidneys for to hole
I shouted Holy Murder! as my skin they tried to tan,
And I pray, "What made me hire with this man called Tom McCann?

Then calling in for breakfast, oh! nothing could I see
But a pack of hungry children saying, "Is there nothing left for me?"
The butter that was on the plate no human eye could stand
And for tea you need not mention it with Mr. Tom McCann.

My trousers got to wide for me, my coat was rather big
The skin grew tight upon my back, my hair got like a wig.
For days and nights you would have heard me pray the best I can
For Burnhouse or its van to take me from that rascal Tom McCann.

From Folksongs Sung in Ulster, Morton

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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