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Lads o' the Fair

Members of the Falkirk Youth Music Initiative, with tutor John Somerville, created an audio-visual production performance of “Lads o’ the Fair,” a composition by local Falkirk musician Brian McNeill. The Scottish folk song celebrates the Falkirk Tryst, an ancient market where cattle drovers, weavers, and other traders would travel for miles from all over Scotland to sell their wares each year. In the 1700s it was the biggest cattle market in Scotland. This online musical production was created collaboratively over six weeks during lockdown over video calls. This music video includes the original version of McNeill's song, the group version with photographs by Falkirk Youth Music Initiative, and a short Gaelic song at the end as a treat!

Lyrics

 

Come, bonnie lass, lie near me, an’ let the brandy cheer ye
For the road frae Fife tae Falkirk’s lang an’ cauld an’ wet an’ weary
My trade, it is the weavin’ in the bonnie toun o’ Leven
An’ we’ll drink a health tae the farmers’ dames wha’ll buy our cloth the morn

Chorus

You can see them a’, the lads o’ the fair
Lads frae the Forth an’ the Carron water
Workin’ lads an’ lads wi’ gear
Lads wha’d sell ye the provost’s dochter
Sodjers back frae the German wars
Peddlers up frae the border
An’ lassies wi’ an eye for mair than the kye
At the trysting fair at Falkirk

Come, Georgie, haud the pony, for the path is steep and stony
An’ it’s three lang weeks frae the Isle o’ Skye and the beasts are thin an’ bony
We’ll tak the last o’ the siller an’ buy oursels a gill or two
An’ drink to the lads wha’ll buy our kye in Falkirk toun the morn

Staun hear an’ I’ll show ye, there’s the toun below ye
But we’d best bide here in the barn the nicht, for the nightwatch dinna know ye
My brother, he’s a plowman, an’ I’m for the feeing now, man
An’ we’ll drink tae the price o’ the hairvest corn in Falkirk toun the morn

The wark o’ the weaver’s over, likewise the days o’ the drover
An’ the plowboy sits on a tractor noo, too high to see the clover
The warkin’s no sae steady, but the lads are aye still ready
Tae drink a health tae the working man in Falkirk toun the morn

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