Maggie May

Interesting Facts about the Maggie May

“Maggie May” was sung at the capstan in many Liverpool ships. The song tells the story of one of the most famous Liverpool ‘judy’ called Maggie May. We don’t know if it is a historical or fictitious character. According to stan Hugill, no other collector has mentioned this song, which was probably forebitter as well as a sea shanty. Words given by Stan Hugill are modified slightly, possibly due to bawdyness here and there.
The song will be reconstructed by myself as the forebitter.

The source of this Forebitter

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 404).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 404,405).

The Record of the Maggie May

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

Maggie May - Forebitter

The musical notation

Maggie May - music notation

The full lyrics

Jack All Alone

Come all ye sailors bold, an’ when me tale is told,
I know ye all will sadly pity me,
For I was a god damn fool in the port o’ Liverpool,
an the voyage when I first paid off from sea.

– Ooh, Maggie, Maggie May,
– They have taken you away,
– For to slave upon Van Dieman’s cruel shore,
– Oh, you robbed many a whaler an’ many a drunken sailor,
– But you’ll never cruise round Liverpool no more!

* 2 *

I paid off at the Home, after a voyage from Sierre Leone,
Two pound ten a month had been my pay;
As I jingled in me tin, I wuz sadly taken in,
By a lady of the name of Mggie may,

* 3 *

When I steered into her, I hadn’t got a care,
I wuz cruisin’ up an’ down ol’ Canning Place;
She wuz dressed in a gown so fine, like a frigate of the line,
An’ I bein’ a sailorman gave chase.

* 4 *

She gave me a saucy nod, an’ I like a farmer’s clod,
Let her take me line abreast in tow;
An’ under all plain sail, we ran before the gale,
An’ to the Crow’s Nest Tavern Tavern we did go.

* 5 *

Next mornin’ when I woke, I found that I wuz broke,
I hadn’t got a penny to me nyme;
So I had to pop me suit, me John L’s an’ me boots,
Down in the Park Lane pawn shop Number Nine.

* 6 *

Oh, you thievin’ Maggie May, ye robbed me of me pay,
When I slept wid you last night ashore,
Oh, guilty the jury found her, for robbin’ a homeward-bounder,
An’ she’ll never roll down Park Lane no more.

* 7 *

She wuz chained and sent away, from Liverpool one day,
The lads they cheered as she sailed down the Bay,
An’ every sailor lad, he only wuz too glad,
They’d sent the ol’ whore out to Botany Bay.

Related to this Forebitter

Ratcliffe Highway

Blow Ye Winds in the Morning

Rolling Home – W. B. Whall

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