“The Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn”


At the Hamiltonsbawn hiring fair the singer hires for six winter months to Tom McCann. After one good meal, the food "no human eye could stand," the work is hard, the fleas unbearable at night. "My trousers got too wide ... my hair got like a wig"


Morton-Ulster: "If you travel the road from Armagh City to Tandragee, you pass through the snug town of Hamiltonsbawn.... Hiring fairs were in full swing up to fifty years ago and the one at 'the Bawn' is remembered as recently as forty years ago [c.1929].... May and November seem to have been the months favoured for 'hiring'; no doubt because May marked the beginning of the harvest season and November heralded preparation of the ground and planting." - BS

Cross references


  1. Morton-Ulster 23, "The Hiring Fair at Hamiltonsbawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2890
  3. BI, MorU023


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1970 (Morton-Ulster)
Found in: Ireland