American | Australian | Beatles | Canadian | Ceilidh | Childrens' | Chinese | Dutch | English | French | German | Gospel | Irish | NZ | Norwegian | Platt | Pub | Sacred Harp | Scots | Sea Songs | Tyneside | Welsh | Yorkshire |
 
Maids at eighteen
Last updated: 24.01.17
nlyrics.gif
"Maids at eighteen" is very similar in vein to the Irish folk-song Maid in a Garret whereby the singer, one of the "gentler sex", yearns with all her heart for the matrimonial state and has, due to her lack of success with the lads, has become entirely un-choosy. In the last verse she pleads:
"Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor; e'er I'm in the mould laid
come and woo me, come and sue me, don't let me die an old maid"

I found this song in Andrew Gant's Folk Songs of the British Isles wherein he mentions the footnote to this song by S. Baring-Gould and H. Sheppard in their A Garland of Country Song (1895). Quoting Andrew Gant:
"As a good Victorian clergyman, Baring-Gould he felt it necessary to substantially alter the texts of some of the more bawdy songs he collected. To "Maids at eighteen" he wrote he wrote his own words which "somewhat tone down the impatience of the singer for married life. However droll it may be in the original, no girl would care to sing it nowadays". Andrew Gant restored the original text: "Well done, Andrew!", says I.