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Skeealyn Vannin, Disk 5 Track 03i: Speaker: Lillie Duggan, Port St Mary

Date(s): 1948

Creator(s): Irish Folklore Commission

Transcript: Tobm Beg and Kirree went to the Fair, from ‘Manx Tales’ by Egbert Rydings

How Kirree and Tobm went from Laksaa to Midsummer Fair as told by Kirree herself.

Aw, Mistress Kelly, Mistress Kelly, the jeel our Tobm had done this blessed day it bates all,
For I mus’ tell you from the fus’: to make ye understan’, as the man said.

Well, you know, Mistress Kelly, we made up our minds las’ week
That when the 5th of July would be comin’ we would go to the feer.
You know, Mistress Kelly, we haven’ been to the feer for years an’ years: in fac’ not since the railroad was open.
And in fac’, Mistress Kelly, to tell you the truth, our Tobm had navar seen the railroad, as the sayin’ is.
So as he had sowl’ a hafer to the Co-op an’ his wool too an’ gorra good price - we thought we’d have a day out.

Well, on the mornin’ of the feer it’s up we got when we heard the mines’ bell
The washin’ floor did you say? - Tut, no, woman, miners.
How in your heart, Mistress Kelly, do you think I could get through all the mess an’ muck o’ work I had to do
Feedin’ cows, pigs, fowls, milkin’ an’ all the other kiartags you know I have to do
An’ meet Jem the Co-op at nine o'clock for he’d promised our Tobm to give us a leff,
An’ you know he’s mortal ‘tiklar to start at nine.

Well, I got my kiartags done though an’ I got my old satchel and filled it ram jam full of cheese and barley bread and botthar.
Fresh barley bread, as you know, Mistress Kelly, for I had to borrow your griddle the evenin’ afore
Well, jus’ as I was squeezin’ the thing to, our Tobm shouts from the laff,
Hoigh, Kirree! Purra junk of yanther stock fish on the sendhars. It’ll go high with a pint of ale.
You know, Mistress Kelly, our Tobm is mortal fond of a bit of salt fish.
So I had to do it and jam it in to yonder satchel as best I could

Well, we no sooner gorr outside an’ the lock put on and the key in me pockad
When our Tobm shouts from the street, Hoigh, Kirree! Well, what now?
Put two new laid duck eggs in the basket, he said. They’ll be nice with the fish.
You know, Mistress Kelly, our Tobm is mortal fond of a duck egg with any sort of a kitchen.
But you may believe me and all, Mistress Kelly, there wasn’t room to put a hay seed in yonder satchel
Navar min’ a couple of duck eggs, but for all I got them
And wrapped them in m’ han’kerchief and put them in me pockad.
Duck eggs has tougher shells, Mistress Kelly, so no fear. So off we went.

An’ I was goin’ middlin quick down the road for I knew the time was nearly up
Be the way the Agneash boys was hurryin’ to school. But bad cess to it, Mistress Kelly,
And wus’ luck as the man said. Hardly had we gorr over the river at Creer’s Mill
When who should we meet but the Clerk. An’ - “Hello Tobm. Wheer now? The feer?”
An’ a cooish must be at them. You know, Mistress Kelly,
Our Tobm an’ the Clerk bein’ Baldhun bred must have a cooish about him an’ her
An’ that fella deliverin’ shrimps, an’ Phillie the Desert,
An’ a whole hape o’ rubbish o’ that surt.
An’ me shoutin’ at the top of me voice, We’ll be late, guy heng, it’s late we’ll be.
An’ nothin’ from our Tobm but Fuirree, gel! Fuirree, woman!
An’ bad cess to us, fuirree, Mistress Kelly, If I hadn’ a gone back an’ laid a hould of our Tobm
Be the arm an’ dragged him away them two would’ve talked on ’til now.
An’ when we got at the Co - Lo an’ behoul’ you, Jem was gone.

I was that mad, Mistress Kelly, I was for goin’ home again.
But our Tobm coaxed an’ coaxed, an’ said how the Agneash ones would laugh
If we wouldn't go to the feer. An’ for a piece of time he said he’d carry the satchel
An’ wanted me for to let him put the duck eggs in his hat. But I wouldn't let him do that, Mistress Kelly,

For you know our Tobm sweats like the mischief when he’s walkin,
An’ he'd be sure to take his hat off to mop his head forgettin’ all about the duck eggs.
Aw, no, Mistress Kelly, I preferred to keep them in my pocket.
So we set out to walk, an’ when we got as far as the Halfway House
Nothin’ would do but our Tobm mus’ go in for a light for his pipe.
An’ coaxed an’ coaxed for me to go in, An’, dear pop, woman, he said
For I said I wouldn’t, Mistress Kelly, an’ I wouldn't go in any such place, at least in our own Parish.
To be seen comin’ out, maybe by the Shuper, or at least some of the Agneash Chapel ones
Oh, no, Mistress Kelly,
Aye, honour’s too much for my quarterly ticket to be seen comin’ out of any such place
At least, as I said before, in our own Parish. So I went on.

But I hadn’t gone very far when our Tobm shouts after me,
Hoigh, Kirree! Here, hold on a minute, woman! Let us have three ha’pence
I mus’ have some thombagey an’ ….. An’ you may believe me or no, Mistress Kelly
But it was only the evenin’ afore I got him a whole quarter o’ twist
An’ put it with my own hands in his Sunday jacket pocket.
Aw, he pretended to feel for it an’ feel for it an’ pulled out his handkerchief
But I didn't believe him. But for all I gave him three ha’pence
Aw, deed that I don’t never trust our Tobm with the purse, Mistress Kelly,
He’d make jeel of it in no time, an’ wouldn’t regard, but spend the money like flitters.
Aw, no! I don’t never allow him no more than three ha’pence
Except when he’s in Doolish an’ he says the jough is a ha’penny dearer there
So I had to give him tuppence.

Well, I went on an’on an’ I was up at the top of the White Bridge
When our Tobm over took me. So we went on an’ on an’ down the Burnt Mill
And when we got to the bottom there was a carriage standing there
An’ our Tobm want’ me for to get in for he said it was sure to be goin’ to the fair.
But there was so many ones sittin’ in all dressed in their Sunday best.
But you know, Mistress Kelly, our Tobm never had no schoolin’
An’ I says to him, Go on, you big stupid, ye
Can’t you see that’s a tram goin’ to Bovril
For I seen the name stuck on the side like the Laksaa car.

Well, we went on an’ on until we come to the market place
An’ bless me soul, what a tremendjus thing, the people that was goin’ for the train
Well, when we got to the station all the people was rammin’ and jammin’ to the right
But I says to our Tobm Here’s a road in through this little gate to the left
We can get in without so much jingin’ an’ scrunchin’. So in we went an’ up to the train
An’ we were just goin’ to get aboard when a fella comes along with a church bell in his hand
An’ shouts - Tiggads! Tiggads! What tiggads, I says.
Haven’t we got the money in our pockets? An’ I outs wi’ my purse, But would you believe me, Mistress Kelly,
He had the impudence to tell me he wouldn’t take my money,
An’ told me for to go to the wooden lot an’ get tickets. An’ look slippy about it, says he.

Huh! The impudence of it, never seen the like, But I took him to be the ……….
But I ups with myself an’ away to the wooden hut, An’, Mistress Kelly, the jingin’ an’ the scroogin’
Before I could get to the man at the hole that was servin’ the tickets,
An’ if you’d have seen my new Sunday bonnet, Mistress Kelly, only once wore at me,
The jammed an’ the crumpled it was. And I couldn’t help myself, woman,
For I had to keep my two han’s in my pocket to mind my purse And keep the eggs from gettin’ broke.

Well, I got the tiggads though an’ I run back to the train
An’ one fella was bangin’ the doors of the train to, an’ the other fella ding dongin’ the church bell like mad
An’ “Hurry up woman! Hurry up an’ get in or you’ll be left”!
An’ me Mistress Kelly plain distracted an’ in a muck of sweat,
An’ our Tobm with his head out of the carriage window signin’ to me like mad.
Aw - an’ then some fella grips me behind an’ shoves me in the carriage
An’ the carriage a goin’ an’ I tumbled in an’ flopped on the seat.

An bad cess to it, Mistress Kelly, my pocket was under me
An’ I heard them eggs go pop just like when the boys blows up a tea bag an’ plops it in their han’
An’ I knew in my heart, Mistress Kelly, that my new black Marina frock was tee-total spoilt.
So I in’s with my han’ in my pocket an’ turns it inside out
Aw - an the muck all went flyin’ on the frock of the woman sittin’ on the form opposite.
An’ in my flurry, Mistress Kelly, I unlucky took my pocket handkerchief
An’ I forgot t’was wrapped round the egg an’ brushed it off an’ made the woman’s frock
Ten times worse than I hadn’t of touched it at all.
Aw - an’ if you’ld of seen that woman’s face, Mistress Kelly, red quite on view it was
An’, Mistress Kelly, cry I mus’ an’ the handkerchief up to my face
An’ I turned an’ the woman see’d all the yella muck runnin’ down my face
An’ she begun to laugh an’ our Tobm, the fool, begun to laugh

An’ all the people in the carriage begun to laugh
Til we ups at the Ballasalla station, an’ the tiggad man come roun’ again
An’, would you believe it, Mistress Kelly, we had come to Castletown instead of goin’ to the fair.

Language: Manx

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: WHOLE

ID number: SA 0579/5/3i


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