Mudcat Café message #1246769 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5651   Message #1246769
Posted By: IanC
13-Aug-04 - 09:48 AM
Thread Name: Origin: When You and I were Young Maggie
Subject: RE: Origin: When You and I were Young Maggie
The Old Rustic Bridge was, I think, adapted as a pipe tune from the song. It seems to have been composed in 1881 by J. P. Skelly. This site has an interesting article about songs on the theme of mills, including this on "The Old Rustic Bridge".

Skelly's Old Rustic Bridge by the Stream seem to have gone through many editions and the copyright issues were lodged for several different versions. Straight reprints - it had sold over 60,000 copies by 1884 - would not have needed to be resubmitted.

* Here's an early reprint, dated 1885.

* Here's a band version dated 1888 from "American Memory"


* Here's a version in the National Library of Australia, dated 1890-1899.

My family have sung it for most of the last century, in three generations from my grandmother. Though it's popular in Ireland, it was equally popular in England and it appears to have originally been written by an American composer.