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Maids at Eighteen

[trad.]

The Witches of Elswick sang Maids at Eighteen in 2003 on their first album, Out of Bed. They commented in their liner notes:

Bry found this song in a book and fiddled about with the tune. As we're all getting on a bit, we can identify with the sentiments… We dedicate it to anybody struggling to find a partner; it usually works out but not always with long lasting success.

Lyrics

The Witches of Elswick sing Maids at Eighteen

Maid at eighteen, maid at nineteen, maid at twenty marry,
Here am I at twenty-five, no longer can I tarry.

Chorus (after each verse):
With a hey, hey down and a derry, derry down
Maid or wife, it's a happy life
She leaves his heart, is free from strife
With a hey down, derry down dey

Sister Kate is far too young, she's younger far than I am,
She's had sweethearts by the score, she's forc-ed to deny them.

Sister Bess has an ugly face and besides she is my shape in,
Before that she was seventeen a bride she had been made in.

Before that she had nineteen years she'd a son and a daughter,
Here am I at twenty-five, I'd never had one offer.

Tinker. tailor, soldier, sailor, come before my chance fade,
Come and woe me, please pursue me, don't let me die an old maid.