On Tynwald Fair Day

On Tynwald Fair Day

Eighty-five I’ll be me nex’ birthday,
Ay! – Eighty-five nex’ Tynwal’ Fair Day.
I remember when I was a li’l wan
How the neighbours was used to say
Warra glister me mother had on her
Gittin’ ready to go to the Fair –
For meself wasn’ due till late Augus’
So theer was time enough – an’ to spare.

 

Lawse help us! – what tearin’ that mornin’
‘Fore the sun was up in the sky
Gittin’ buther an’ eggs an’ fairin’s
All packed in the cart – clane an’ dhry.
An’ me father was all of a skelter
When his fut caught the bithag crock
With a dint that cracked it wide open –
Splashin’ over th’owl gran’ father clock.

 

He didn’ look wheer he was goin’,
So he stamped the mess over the flure
Tet! Tet! – Men are stupit awful!
Then he thracked it right out to the dhure.
My! My! – (so the neighbours was tellin’)
But me mother was pur out for all –
Theer was froth on her mouth with her jo-in’
At me father – stannin’ lookin’ so maul!

“Come arra the road,” she was sayin’
“Or we’ll git to no Fair this morn,”
In her han’ the flure cloth looked dangerous –
But me father was wise! – He was gone!
An’ tha’s wheer the throuble started –
She was took as she stooped to the flure.
“Go an’ fetch Lizzie Jane!” she was shoutin’
“Or the chile ‘ll be in, for sure!”

 

So runnin’ for Lizzie went Meery
(For me father couldn’ be foun’!)
An’ she fell in the ditch down the medder –
I’s a wonder the gel didn’ dhrown!
An’ Lizzie’d been firin’ her chimley,
An’ her face was as black as a rook
When Meery came flyin’ in breathless –
Dhrippin’ wet – an’ all covered in muck!

 

Back to the house the two started
But before they got to the gate,
Meself had arrived in the kitchen!
Not upstairs in the bes’ room – in state!
Well! Well! Warra Tynwal’ Day that was!
With the mare loaded up for the Fair,
An’ neither tack nor sheet of me father
To be seen about anywhere!

 

When he thought mother’s temper’d be cooler,
He crep’ in – all sheepish an’ shy –
Only to fin’ he’d become a father
While he’d been sittin’ with the pigs in the sty!

 

Yes – Tynwal’ Fair Day is me birthday.
Eighty-five – an I’m middlin’ fit –
I was born by a crock of bithag
An’ I’m good at the churnin’ yit!


glister – trouble
bithag = cream
jo-in = scolding
maul = miserable

(source: Green Hills by the Sea (1954) by Kathleen Faragher http://bit.ly/1SFs4D6; Tynwald photo http://bit.ly/1yqvseD; photo of gentleman http://bit.ly/1JEEytg)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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