Single: When you and I were young, Maggie

by Eulalie

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The poem was written for Maggie Clark of Glanford, Ontario by poet George Washington Johnson. George and Maggie became engaged, married, and moved to Cleveland, but Maggie died less than a year later in May 1865 and was buried near her old home. Washington returned to Canada where he taught at the University of Toronto. The poem was published in 1864 in a collection entitled 'Maple Leaves' and, after Maggie's death, Johnson arranged for it to be set to music by James Austin Butterfield, a music teacher then living in Detroit.

The song attained great popularity in post-Civil War America, and has been recorded countless times - first in 1905. This is our own spontaneous arrangement.


(George W. Johnson / James Austin Butterfield)

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.

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 were sung;
For we sang as lovely as they, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

They say I am feeble with age, Maggie,
My steps are less spritely than then
My face is a well written page, Maggie,
But time alone was the pen.
They say we are aged and gray, 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.


released June 12, 2013
Music by James Austin Butterfield (1866); Lyrics by George W. Johnson. (Public Domain) This Arrangement © Ron Andrico & Donna Stewart.

Recorded by Will Russell at Electric Wilburland



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Eulalie New York

Eulalie (pronounce it "YOU-la-lee")
Heartfelt vintage harmonies...heart songs, fiddle tunes, old-time hymns, ballads, and blues.

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