Mudcat Café message #1159001 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5651   Message #1159001
Posted By: Reiver 2
10-Apr-04 - 11:12 PM
Thread Name: Origin: When You and I were Young Maggie
Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD RUSTIC BRIDGE BY THE MILL
When in Ireland in 2001 I bought a 4 Vol. set of small books titled, Folksongs & Ballads Popular in Ireland. Vol. 4 has a song I'm not at all familiar with called, "Old Rustic Bridge By the Mill. Curiously, the woman in the song is also named Maggie. The general theme of the song is very much the same as "When You and I Were Young", but the tune (as far as I can tell from the score... I've never heard it played) is quite different and so are the lyrics. Here they are:

THE OLD RUSTIC BRIDGE BY THE MILL
(J.P. Kelly)

1) I'm thinking tonight of the old rustic bridge
   That bends o'er the murmuring stream.
   'Twas there, Maggie dear, with our hearts full of cheer,
   We strayed 'neath the moon's gentle gleam.
   'Twas there I first met you. The light of your eyes
   Awoke in my heart a sweet thrill.
   Though now far away, still my thoughts fondly stray
   To the old rustic bridge by the mill.
   
Cho. Beneath it the stream gently rippled.
    Around it the birds loved to thrill (should be trill, I think)
    Though now far away, still my thoughts fondly stray
    To the old rustic bridge by the mill.

2) How often, dear Maggie, when years passed away,
   And we, plighted lovers became;
   We rambled the path to the bridge, day by day,
   The smiles of each other to claim.
   But one day we parted in pain and regret,
   Our vows then we could not fulfil;
   Oh, may we soon meet and our fond love repeat,
   On the old rustic bridge by the mill.

Chorus.

3) I keep in my mem'ry the love of the past,
   With me 'tis as bright as of old;
   For deep in my heart it was planted to last,
   In absence it never grows cold.
   I think of you darling, when lonely at night
   And when all is peaceful and still
   My heart wanders back in a dream of delight
   To the old rustic bridge by the mill.

Chorus.

A very brief note in the book says: "Recorded by Foster and Allen. Written by J.P. Kelly in 1930." Those names mean nothing to me... do they ring a bell with anyone? I doubt that the songs are related in any way, but it seems quite a coincidence to find another Maggie being mourned by an old lover, whose memories include a stream and a mill. I've heard a version of "When You and I Were Young" that refers to an "old rusty mill" as opposed to a "creaking old mill" and wonder if that might have developed from someone who confused the songs and turned "rustic bridge" into a "rusty mill." Pretty far-fetched, I suppose. Is anyone familiar with this "Rustic Bridge" song and know anything about it? Just curious.

Reiver 2