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Category: SeaSongs
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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 inĀ 
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.