DESCRIPTION: Gaelic. Singer, a spalpeen bids farewell to Ireland; on his last job 12 women contended for him. He was happy at first, then found he was being cheated of his pay. He boasts that women like him, and compliments a young woman going down the road
EARLIEST DATE: 1965 (recording, Joe Heaney)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Gaelic. Singer, a spalpeen (itinerant agricultural laborer) bids farewell to Ireland; on his last job 12 women contended for him. He was happy at first, then found he was being cheated of his pay. He boasts that women like him, and compliments a young woman going down the road; "The tailor that took her measure/I am sure that he was in love with her/For he took her measure up from the ground/And high above her waist/And they tell me that's the reason/She is always laughing."
KEYWORDS: courting sex bragging emigration rambling travel beauty farming foreignlanguage work worker migrant
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: George Sigerson, Bards of the Gael and Gall (New York, 1907 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 287-289, "The Rover" (1 text in English translation)
Joe Heaney, "Spailpin Fanac" (on Pubs1)
NOTES [54 words]: In Ireland young workers were often hired at autumn hiring fairs for six months, the women as dairy maids or kitchen maids, the men as farm servants. At the end of the term, often the women would marry and settle, while the men travelled to the next hiring fair or hit the road as itinerant workers, known as "spalpeens." - PJS
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