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[Note 307.11] This poem was written by a Scot who "travelled extensively throughout the eastern counties of Scotland, visiting local fairs and markets, where he recited and sold his poetry to an audience composed principally - though not exclusively - of farm servants and labourers" [Ref: University of Aberdeen website] His audience would have included some of the large numbers of Irishmen who went to Scotland to work on the harvest; their journey made faster and more comfortable by paddle steamers. The characterisation of the Irish labourer as na├»ve and ill-educated is typical; see for example two other Scottish songs,  bar304 ~ Paddy on the Railway and bar184 ~ Iron Horse


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