Country Hirings

Come all you blooming country lads and listen unto me,
And if I do but tell the truth I know you will agree.
It's of the jolly farmers who servants want to have,
For to maintain them in their pride and to be to them a slave.

Servant men, stand up for your wages
When to the hirings you do go,
For you must work all sorts of weather,
Both cold and wet and snow.

While the farmer and his wife in bed so snug and warm can lie,
But you must face the weather both cold, wet or dry;
For the rates they are so heavy and the taxes they are high,
So we must pull the wages down, the farmers they do cry.

The farmers twenty years ago their rates and taxes pay,
But now they are so full of pride and increase every day,
Which makes the landlords raise the rent and the farmers for to scold
On the poor young servant lads and rob them of their gold.

The farmers and the servants together used to dine,
But now they're in the parlour with their pudding, beer and wine.
The master and the mistress, their sons and daughters all alone,
They will eat the meat and you may pick the bones.

The farmers' daughters they used to dress so neat and clean and brown,
And now with bustles, frills, and furbelows and flounces to their gowns,
They go dressed like dandy Bess, more fitted for the stage,
Which cause the farmers' rent to rise and put them in a rage.

The description of your living I am sure it is the worse,
For the pottage it is thin and the bread is very coarse,
While the masters they do live as you shall understand
On butter and good cheese and the fat from the land.

A roasted goose for dinner, likewise a leg of lamb,
With soups and potatoes and everything that's grand,
While servants in the kitchen they do both sport and play,
Speaking about the fun they'll get on the hiring day.

But I could tell you of a better plan without any fears or doubts,
If you would only kiss the mistress when the master he is out,
You may kiss her, you may squeeze her, you may roll her round about
And then she would find you better grub without any fear or doubt.

So good lads, stand out for your wages
When to the hirings you do go,
For you will have to stand all sorts of weather
Both cold, wet and snow.
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