Traditional Scottish Songs
- When You and I Were Young, Maggie

Here is a well known song from yester year, by George Washington Johnson, about growing old. Although it is often found in the repertoire of Scottish singers, George Johnson was a Canadian from Toronto. "Maggie" was Margaret Clark, a pupil of George Johnson who was a schoolteacher. Maggie and George fell in love but although they became engaged, Maggie contracted TB. During one of his fiancee's more serious bouts of illness, George walked to a nearby hill, overlooking a mill, and composed the verse that provided the lyrics to his song. George and Maggie were married in 1864 but Maggie's health deteriorated and she died on May 12, 1865. George's friend, J.C. Butterfield set the poem to music and it bcame popular all over the world. George Washington Johnson died in 1917.

When You and I Were Young, Maggie

I wandered today to the hill, Maggie,
To watch the scene below -
The creek and the creaking old mill, Maggie,
As we used to, long ago.
The green grove is gone from the hill, Maggie,
Where first the daisies sprung;
The creaking old mill is still, Maggie,
Since you and I were young.

And now we are agèd and grey, Maggie,
And the trials of life nearly done,
Let us sing of the days that are gone, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

A city so silent and lone, Maggie,
Where the young, and the gay, and the best,
In polished white mansions of stone, Maggie,
Have each found a place of rest,
Is built where the birds used to play, Maggie,
And join in the songs that we sung;
For we sang as lovely as they, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

They say that I'm feeble with age, Maggie,
My steps are less sprightly than then,
My face is a well-written page, Maggie,
And time alone was the pen.
They say we are agèd and grey, Maggie,
As sprays by the white breakers flung,
But to me you're as fair as you were, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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