Muckle Friday Fair

On Autumn Harvest AH 002
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads - Here's a Health to the Company

Jim Taylor sings:

Another George Morris composition that captures the feel of the hiring fair that took place in the Castlegate in Aberdeen where the ferm chiels would be looking for their ‘decent fee’. In Kerr’s Buchan Bothy Ballads.

1: There's joy aa roon the banks o Don
And up the glens o Dee,
Oor sax months wages nearly won,
So the plooman they'll win free.
The mairket morn is here again,
As weel as mony mair,
So we'll diddle awa wi the mornin train,
Tae muckle Friday fair.

2: Gin ten o'clock the Castlegate,
It's in an unco steer,
And ilkae meenit as we wait,
Mair billies do appear.
Doon Union Street and roon the Queen,
Big croods assemble there,
For hunders come tae Aiberdeen,
And muckle Friday fair.

3: The fairmers staun ootside the croods,
Wi topcoats ower their airms,
Tae pick and chise amon the loons,
Tae suit their different fairms.
Some o them are in their prime,
But some are auld and sair,
But Deil-the-mony them nivver miss,
A muckle Friday fair.

4: But noo the maisters and their men,
They're aa thegither mixed,
The sower socht, the yarls taen,
In mony's a peer loon fixed.
Some tae bile wi stirks and stotts,
And some tae ca a pair,
And some were getting nineteen knots,
At muckle Friday fair.

5: Lang syne, some twenty years or mair,
By aa the glens aroon,
Nae wife nor lassie thocht tae miss,
Her mairket day in toon.
But noo sic things are oot o date,
The world's altered sair,
And no man body you'll hardly see,
At muckle Friday fair.

6: The maids we met on Union Street,
Were clad in bricht array,
Like butterflies in sunshine's heat,
Upon a summer's day.
Wi poodered face and gaudy dress,
But yet they can't compare,
Wi the rosie-cheekit country lass,
At muckle Friday fair.

7: The toon may boast, as weel she may,
For picters, music-halls,
Her palaces o grandeur great,
Her paths and courtly walls.
But gie tae me the countryside,
It's blue skies and caller air,
Nae langer than a day we'll bide,
At muckle Friday fair.

8: Here's health tae aa you country lads,
And dry wi aye your sark,
And if yer maisters use ye weel,
I'm sure ye'll dae yer work.
And may yer hert be licht and free,
Fae ony worldly care,
And I hope ye'll get a decent fee,
At muckle Friday fair.
The Garioch (pronounced Gearie) is an area of Aberdeenshire around Inverurie.

c p 2005 Autumn Harvest AH002