OLD MAID IN THE GARRET

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
OLD MAID IN THE GARRET
Although generally considered an American song, this appears to date back to at least
1636, when it appeared in England as a broadside ballad. In some early versions the old
maid finally gets married to a chimney sweep (“The Chimney Sweeper’s Wedding” or
“The Black Chimney Sweeper”) There are also Irish variations, such as “Old Maid in the
Garret”.
I have often heard it said from my father and my mother
That going to a wedding was the making of another
Well if this be so, then I’ll go without a bidding
Oh it’s kind providence won’t you send me to a wedding
For it’s oh dear me, how will it be, if I die an old maid in a garret
Oh now there’s my sister Jean, she’s not handsome or good lookin’
Scarcely sixteen and a fella she was courtin’
Now she’s twenty four with a son and a daughter
Here am I, forty-five, and I’ve never had an offer
For it’s oh dear me, how will it be, if I die an old maid in a garret
I can cook and I can sew, I can keep the house right tidy
Rise up in the morning and get the breakfast ready
But there’s nothing in this wide world would make me half so cheery
As a wee fat mannie who would call me his own dearie
For it’s oh dear me, how will it be, if I die an old maid in a garret
Oh come landsman or come kinsman, come tinker or come tailor
Come fiddler or come dancer, come ploughman or come sailor
Come rich man, come poor man, come fool or come witty
Come any man at all who would marry me for pity
For it’s oh dear me, how will it be, if I die an old maid in a garret
Oh well I’m away home for there’s nobody heedin’
There’s nobody heedin’ to poor Annie’s pleadin’
And I’m away home to me own wee bit garret
If I can’t get a man then I’ll surely get a parrot
For it’s oh dear me, how will it be, if I die an old maid in a garret