Mudcat Café message #3323412 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5651   Message #3323412
Posted By: PHJim
15-Mar-12 - 09:57 PM
Thread Name: Origin: When You and I were Young Maggie
Subject: RE: Origin: When You and I were Young Maggie
In the mid-sixties I worked in Hagersville, but came home to Dundas on the weekends where I grew up. As I passed through Mount Hope, now annexed by Hamilton, there was a blue and gold (Ontario residents will know what I mean) historical site marker with the words "When You And I Were Young Maggie" and an explanation of the song's origins. It was explained in the Hamilton Spectator that the home where The Johnsons lived and where the song was written was now a private home and the sign was removed at the request of the owners who were being bothered by people stopping to take pictures and explore the property.
I have a wife named Maggie and I play this as a clawhammer banjo piece. The last verse is my favourite. Please forgive me for reposting it:

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 grey, Maggie,
As spray by the white breakers flung,
But to me you are fair as you were, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

My favourite vocal version is Tom Rush's.