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Moorlough Maggie

[ Roud 12939 ; Ballad Index RCMooMag ; Mudcat 101556 ; trad.]

Stanley Robertson sang Moorlough Maggie at a folk-club meeting in The Royal Hotel, Aberdeen, on 23 February 1973. Bill Leader recorded it, which was included in 1988 on the Topic anthology As Me and My Love Sat Courting (The Voice of the People Volume 15).

Sam Lee learned Moorlough Maggie from Stanley Robertson (who learned it from Maggie Stewart). He sang it in 2014 and 2015 on his Nest Collective EP and CD, More for to Rise and The Fade in Time. He noted:

Stanley learned many of his songs from ‘old’ Maggie Stewart, an aged aunt and keeper of some of the rarest of Stanley's inherited repertoire. She wore hair plaited down to her ankles and sang wildly her visceral wandering tunes that seemed to defy gravity. Maggie taught Stanley this gracious lilting ode when he was in his youth on their summer walkings across Aberdeenshire. Although a somewhat ambiguous back and forth between lovers, I've always seen this song as one of gratitude and devotion and connects, in subtle ways, the deep respect the Travellers have for the land and their belief that the land owns them, not the other way round. A song for the dying embers of a night's campfire and a farewell lullaby, this song is a song of appreciation to the night and to the earth that holds us.

Lyrics

Stanley Robertson sings Moorlough Maggie

(as transcribed by Steve Byrne in the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: Moorlough Maggie (Stanley Robertson)

And dae ye see love, yon flock o sheep
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

Tae gie consent love I daurna gie
Tae herd yer sheep high in yon heathery hills
I'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

And dae ye see love yon herd o kye
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

Tae gie consent love, I daurna gie
Tae herd yer kye high in yon heathery hills
T'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

And dae ye see yon ships at sea
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

Tae gie consent love I daurna gie
Tae herd yer sheep high in yon heathery hills
I'll grant them aa tae my moorlove Muggie
Gin she consents for tae gang wi me

Sam Lee sings Moorlough Maggie

And do you see love, yon flock o sheep
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me

To give consent love I dare not give
To herd your sheep high on yon heathery hills
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me

And do you see love yon herd of cows
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me

To give consent love I dare not give
To herd your cows high on yon heathery hills
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me

And do you see yon ships at sea
One hundred must I own but two or three
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me

To give consent love I dare not give
To herd your sheep and your cows on yon heathery hills
I'll grant them all to my Moorlough Maggie
If she consents for to gang with me