Grand history on curious subjects, both entertaining and pleasant/Custom of Country Fairs
Custom of Country Fairs.
TO country fairs in summer time,
The lads and lasses go,
With powder and pomatum drest,
They make a gallant show.
When they get on their braw new clothes,
So buckish then they be,
Each lad goes there to see his lass,
Each lass her lad to see.
Thus Jock goes there to see his Meg,
And Will to see his Kate.
And Maggys’s there to see her Tom,
And Jenny to see Pate.
Both black and fair you will see there,
The yellow and the blue,
The beautiful are there likewise,
And those of tawny hue:
The decent lads are also there,
The foppish beaus also;
The decent girls and glaikit runts,
All in a crowd they go.
This I have seen at diff’rent times,
Eye-witness I was there;
The lassies conduct thus I’ve seen,
And just at Carnwath fair.
At four or five in afternoon,
They merrily begin,
And every lad that wants a lass,
Takes one and calls’t no sin.
One comrade to another says,
We’ll in and have some punch;
With all my heart he does reply,
Likewise we’ll have a wench.
Away in haste they all do go,
Some punch does ready make.
And then in haste away they run,
A lass they mean to take.
Then looks about that they may see
The bonniest, as they think.
Says, bonny lass will ye go in
With us and get a drink:
But some of them are very
And backward they will draw,
Altho’ their Inclination gangs,
They’re dowr to come awa’:
At length away they both do come,
Sits down and takes a seat,
And then they are so canty both,
All’s right as they would hae’t.
Another sort’s of dancing keen,
The beaus all of the age;
They shake their feet, and wag their tails,
Like fools upon a stage.
Promiscuous dancing’s what we ca’t,
The women and the men,
Together dance in company,
On last-floor or in barn.
A gingerbread wife comes in at length,
Or may be two or three,
Gars many a lass her fairing get
That ne’er a bit would see.
⟨⟩, fy, lads buy your lass her fair,
The sweet meat wives does say,
They gar a simple chiel look blunt,
Thinks shame me to say them nay.
For pressing work I do not like,
’Tis best when will is there.
The lad that likes his lassie well,
For twopence will not spare.
Some lassies they do get a lad,
And some they do get twa,
And some they do get many a one,
And some gets nane ava.
And when the night is coming on,
And some does homeward go,
And some does tipple at the drink,
How long I do not know;
Some swears by de’il, and meikle mair,
They'll have another gill,
Altho their purse is but light,
They’ll tarry at the ale.
And some does stagger like to fa’
And measures ay the road,
And some does not win hame that night,
Unto their ain abode.
⟨⟩ has a lass when they go home,
She walketh by his side,
And some that’s of a higher rank,
They take her on to ride.
And now their conduct I have view’d
My verses I will close;
⟨⟩ will go home unto my bed,
And take the night’s repose.