Athelren Fair

Hiring Fairs are a little anachronistic for Hârn, but are my answer to the age-old problem of labour shortage in the civilised kingdoms of the Misty Isle. They seem to have developed in northern England after the Black Death, but didn't flourish until the Industrial Revolution. This song is derived from a traditional number from the Border region entitled Copshawholme Fair, which can be heard on Steeleye Span's album Hark the Village Wait. If you don't read music, download a 1kb MIDI file here.

Athelren Fair Score (54kb)

On Yaelah it fell in the month of Kelen
O'er the hill came a man with a bright, sunny smile
And the folk they were thronging the roads everywhere
Making haste to be in at Athelren Fair

I've a-seen them a-coming in from the mountains and glens
Those who paint glasses, and strapping young men.
With joy in their hearts and unburdened of care
They're meeting old friends at Athelren Fair

There are lads for the lasses, there's toys for the bairns
There are jugglers and tumblers and folks with no arms
There's a ballad-singer here and a fiddler there
There are milk-men and spice-men at Athelren Fair

There are pedlars and cottars and gingerbread stands
There are peep-shows and puppy dogs, Night Folks' caravans
There's fruit from all nations exhibited there
From quinces to orange at Athelren Fair

When the hiring's over, off they all sprung
Onto the green, for to join in the throng
And ever will I in my ribbons so fair
For the fiddlers play briskly at Athelren Fair.

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