Humours of Donnybrook Fair (I), The
DESCRIPTION: "To Donnybrook steer, all you sons of Parnassus, Poor painters, poor ... To see what the fun is": pig hunts, fights, horse races, tradesmen of all kinds, tinkers, singers, dancing dogs, pickpockets, barbers, whisky. "There's naught more uproarious"
EARLIEST DATE: 1839 (Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: commerce sports drink food music begging humorous nonballad animal dog horse
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 184-189, "The Humours of Donnybrook Fair" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 265-267, "The Humours of Donnybrook Fair"
Bodleian, Harding Harding B 25(28), "The Humours of Donnybrook ("To donnybrook steeer [sic] all ye sons of parnassus"), unknown, n.d.
cf. "Ballynafad" (tune, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
NOTES [78 words]: Donnybrook is less than three miles from Dublin. - BS
Parnassus is a mountain near Delphi in Greece, considered sacred to Apollo and the muses. Hence the soms of Parnassus are artists, poets, and the like.
According to Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, the term "donnybrook" for a fight is originally Australian and comes from c. 1920, but it derives from the reputation of Donnybrook Fair for wild events such as those described here. - RBW
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