musical lives, remembered in story & sound

songs to learn.

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so, the year draws to a close, and i am determined to be inspired.

tonight's song, little maggie. i was picking my banjo, two finger style, and it sort of came out.

so, a listen to a great version, here's frank proffit, with his guitar. a man from laurel bloomery, says wikipedia. i remember tim eriksen talking a bit about him, and being inspired by him, but i admit i've never really sat down to listen to him. now, though, i will. (i think this project will prove a great reason to explore some musicians, the long list of them, that i've been too overwhelmed to start.)

his lyrics:

oh yonder stands little maggie
with a dram glass in her hand
she's passing by her troubles
and courting some other man
 
pretty flowers were made for blooming
bright stars they were made to shine
pretty girls were made for boys love
just as maggie was made for mine (or wine
 
well i'm going down to the station
with my suitcase in my hand.
i'm going away for to leave you
i'm going to some far and distant land
 
sometimes i have a nickel
sometimes i have a dime
sometimes i have ten dollars
just to pay little maggies fine
 
i'd rather be in a lonesome holler
where the sun would never shine
then to know you was another's darling
when you promised to be mine
 
so yonder stands little maggie
with a dram glass in her hand
she's passing by her troubles
and courting some other man.
 
a familiar tale, as his lyrics go, of a man scorned.
 
came accross these, on the internet:
Oh where is little Maggie?
      On yonder hill she stands,
      With her rifle crost her bosom
      And her dram-glass in her hand.

Well the flowers were made for bloomin'
And the sun was made for to shine
Little girls were made for boys to love
Little Maggie was made for wine.

Sometimes I got a nickel,
And sometimes I got a dime.
Sometimes I've got five dollars
For to pay little Maggie's fine.

Oh how can I ever stand it?
Jes' ta see them two blue eyes
They're shinin' like some diamon'
Like some diamon' in the skies.

Well there stan's little Maggie
With her dram glass in her han'
She's drinkin' down her troubles
And foolin' some other man.

Oh where is little Maggie?
On yonder hill she lies.
With her rifle crost her bosom
An' two pennies on her eyes.

I like that last verse. the song's a story of a woman ruined by alcohol; in that light, the song is much more about her, and her crazy character, than about the guy narrating it and his broken heart. i do wonder where that second version comes from. both, for that matter. wonder if it's a child ballad, from england, or one inspired in america.