The skills of singing, storytelling and recitation have always played an important and pleasurable part in passing time and ceilidhing. A number of songs and poems are associated with people and places hereabouts.
The accompanying recording is of Roisin White of Armagh, who sang "Gosford's Fair Demesne" at a concert in the Old Courthouse on 19 January 2003.
Use the audio controller to listen to this talk, given in 2003.
GOSFORD'S FAIR DEMESNE
Ye lovers all to you I call,
So you will lend and ear;
Unto these few lines of stirring love,
I mean to let you hear.
The name of those to you I speak,
To you I dare not tell;
But all around sweet Markethill,
Most people know them well.
All on a cold September night,
The corn was golden brown;
A handsome couple did I spy,
Near Gosford's fair demesne.
With silent steps I slowly crept
Towards a chestnut tree,
To catch those tender words of love
The breezes blew to me.
It was the maiden fair that spoke,
Her lover held her hand;
And though she cried with accents sad,
"Young man, I understand.
You love another fair maid
More prettier far than I;
And oh to see her lovely charms
Shine brilliant in your eye.
And oh, to say you would prove false,
The tear stands in my eye.
And with a broken heart all sore,
Young man, I say goodbye".
"Oh stay, oh stay," the young man cried,
"From me you ne'er shall go;
You say I love another fair maid
But I vow it is not so.
So give to me your warmest love
And I'll bestow thee mine,
And that to you I will prove true,
As yonder stars do shine.
If I had Lord Gosford's castle fair,
And all the land in view;
From Mullabrack to Markethill,
I'd wed none else but you".
He threw his arms around he neck
And kissed her tenderly,
Till a cloud o'ercame lord Gosford's light
No longer could I see.
So I turned my steps towards Hamiltonsbawn,
And sang those simple lines,
Of a pair I left in fond embrace
Near Gosford's fair Demesne.