Sailing Barge

Erith Yacht Club

The finest sailing water on the tidal Thames

Club Ship 'Folgefonn'

Anchor Bay,

Erith, Kent, DA8 2AD

Tel 01322 332943

Secretary Tel 0208 310 2686

email - secretary@erithyachtclub.org.uk

Maggie May (East Coast Version)


Come all you jolly Sailormen and listen to my plea,
When you've heard it you will pity me,
I was a goddam fool in the port of London Pool

On the first day my barge came home from sea

Chorus:
Oh Maggie Maggie May they have taken you away,
To toil on Van Diemans troubled shore
You robbed so many a sailor and done so many a whaler,
You'll never see the Riga any more

I was paid of at Greenhithe from a voyage way north of Blyth
Four pounds ten a month it was my pay
As I jingled with my tin I was very soon taken in
By a pretty girl the called her Maggie May

Oh well do I remember where I first met Maggie May,
Cruising up and down old Woolwich place,
She wore a crotchet fine like a frigate of the line,
And just like a bargeman I gave chase

I caught her all aback but she shifted her main tack
For Maggie she had busted her main stay
In the morning when I woke my heart was sore and broke
For Maggie had skedaddled with all my pay

In the morning when I woke, I was not only broke,
No shirt no pants no waistcoat could I find,
I wrote her where thery were, she answered my dear Sir,
The're down in Ipswitch pawn shop No 9

To the pawnshop I did go but I could not find my clothes,
So a policeman came and took that girl away,
The judge he guilty found her, of robbing a homeward bounder,
And he paid her passage out from Buttermans Bay

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There are many songs that all tell a similar story of a sailor home from sea losing all his money to a pretty girl. The words given here are the East Coast variant of the Maggie May . Greenhithe was where barge owners Everard were so many barges had the home port there. The Riga refered to was a public house in Pinmill a little way up the hill past the Butt and Oyster, no longer there.

 

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