Girl Friday #10: Feelin' Feisty!
Perhaps it's that spring wind-spring fever-full moon thing that's been going on all week, which began essentially last Saturday night with three hours of live Tim O'Brien. Perhaps it's the weather. Maybe it's knowing that we survived Homework World and can look forward to a week of spending a few evenings playing a few games, talking, walking in the park, watching TV -- yes, even TV! -- pulling out the guitar. (Btw, my son netted one "B" and all remaining "A"s on his recent report card, so you all have permission to tell me to shut the heck up next time I sound worried!)
So maybe it's all that.
Or maybe...I'm just feelin' feisty.
I've here shared many a romaticized notion about sitting on my porch, gazing out at the American landscape while surrounded by its original soundtrack. Then there is this potential: I'm a bluegrass crone, a settin' on my porch, mando on my knee, shotgun at my side. (Ok, maybe not so much, maybe it will be, I dunno, a butter churn.). I think actually that this would suit me fine. Already I am feeling myself set in my ways. In between now and then, though, I am sure there will be the odd adventure. Being spring, and all that, I'm thinking I'm about due for one of those.
Meet Little Maggie.
I’ve toyed with the set of lyrics that I present here. The third verse is one I imported from the version featured on Dirk Powell’s Hand Me Down recording (see previous post). None of the versions I found in my cursory look feature the verse I like best: The first time I saw Little Maggie She was lyin’ in her bed/With another man layin' beside her/And a pistol under her head
Like I said. Feisty.
This song is all about being a spirited, even unruly, woman. Reading the lyric alone you might not know what to expect, but the feisty tune kind of gives away the narrator -- his heartbreak is fairly minimal.
By clicking below, you should be able to download a live version by the Yonder Mountain String Band, a fabulous group of young musicians who are infecting college kids everywhere with enthusiasm for fiddle, banjo, and the like. Tim O'Brien opened for them in Columbus; I can't remember when I last smelled that much patchouli, if ever, at a bluegrass concert.
This is dedicated to all those feisty, freethinkin' fabulous women I've had the honor to meet in my lifetime, those who are openly feisty, and those who carry their spiritedness in more subtle ways. I realize this may be a bit inappropriate to some, being as it is good Friday. Well, I say, if Mary Magdelene indeed lived, I imagine she'd be all about Girl Good Friday not always being about good girls.
Amen, and pass me my pistol!
Over yonder stands little Maggie, with a dram glass in her hand.
She’s drinking away her troubles, and courting some other man
Oh, how can I ever stand it to see them two blue eyes.
A shining in the moonlight like two diamonds in the sky.
Pretty flowers were made for blooming, pretty stars were made to shine.
Pretty women were made for loving; Little Maggie was made for mine.
Last time I saw my little Maggie, she was sitting on the banks of the sea.
With a forty-four strapped around her, and a banjo on her knee.
Rather be in some lonely hollow
Where the sun don't ever shine,
Than to see you be another man's darling,
And to know that you'll never be mine.
I’m going down to the station with my suitcase in my hand
I’m a going to leave this country, and I’m a going to some far distant land.
Go away, go away little Maggie--- Go and do the best you can.
I’ll get me another woman; you can get you another man.