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Maids at Eighteen


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.


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.