Old Maid in the Garret lyrics

by The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem

Now I've often heard it said from me father and me mother
That goin' to a weddin' is the makings of another
Well, if this be so, then they'll go without a biddin'
Oh kind providence, won't you send me to a wedding

And its oh dear me, how would it be,
If I die an old maid in the garret

Well now, there's my sister Jean, she's not handsome or good lookin'
Scarcely sixteen and a fella she was courtin'
Now she's twenty-four with a son and a daughter
Here am I at forty-five and I've never had an offer

And its oh dear me, how would it be,
If I die an old maid in the garret

I can cook and I can sew, I can keep the house right tidy
And rise up in the mornin' to get the breakfast ready
There's nothing in this wide world would make me half so cheery
As a wee fat man who would call me his own deary

And its oh dear me, how would it be,
If I die an old maid in the garret

So come landsman or come kinsman, come tinker or come tailor
Come fiddler or come dancer, come ploughboy or come sailor
Come rich man, come poor man, come fool or come witty
Come any man at all that will marry me for pity

And its oh dear me, how would it be,
If I die an old maid in the garret

Well now I'm away home, where nobody's heedin'
Oh nobody heedin' to poor Annie's pleadin'
And I'll go away home to my own bitty garret
If I can't get a man, then I'll have to get a parrot

And its oh dear me, how would it be,
If I die an old maid in the garret

Song Details

Old Attic
Old Attic

Author: Unknown

Brief: The song takes a light-hearted look at spinsterhood. It is the story of a woman who is 45 and unmarried and laments her situation, stating that her sister Jean was courting at 16 and married with two children at 24. She would accept any man and lists all the good things she would do for them. She continues to be ignored and fears she will die an old maid in a garret... and may even settle for a parrot!

References:
garrett - an attic, usually a small one
makings - the means of gaining success or realizing potential
bitty - very small
providence - God

Covers: Sweeney's Men, The Dubliners, Cathy Maguire, Steeleye Span, Masterless Men, Patsy O'Sullivan, Seamus Donnelly, The Crimson Pirates, Majella...

Category: Traditional Irish Folk Song, humourous, marriage, lonliness

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