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When You and I Were Young, Maggie

Stephanie Trick


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Ode to Maggie Clark


Stephanie delights her mainly-Scottish audience in 2012 with a theme many of them recognised as a well-known folk song about growing old by George Washington Johnson.

Though it is often found in the repertoire of Scottish singers, George Washington Johnson was a Canadian school teacher from Hamilton, Ontario. Margaret "Maggie" Clark was his pupil. They fell in love and during a period of illness, George walked to the edge of the Niagara escarpment, overlooking what is now downtown Hamilton, and composed the poem. The general tone is perhaps one of melancholy and consolation over lost youth rather than mere sentimentality or a fear of aging. It was published in 1864 in a collection of his poems entitled Maple Leaves. They were married in 1864 but Maggie's health deteriorated and she died on May 12th 1865.

The song was first recorded by Corinne Morgan and Frank C. Stanley in 1905 and has since become a standard performed by many famous artists.

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