Maid and the Magpie, The

DESCRIPTION: The sailor goes to sea, leaving his girl and the magpie. The girl spends time with the parson, and tells the bird she prefers him. The lonely sailor hurries home; the bird reveals the truth. Neither sailor nor parson want the girl thereafter
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Wiltshire-WSRO)
KEYWORDS: bird infidelity sailor clergy humorous
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) Australia
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 44-45, "The Maid and the Magpie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Bk 3, "Maid and the Magpie" (1 text)

Roud #1532
Cyril Poacher, "The Maid and the Magpie" (on Voice06)
cf. "The Magpies" (theme of magpies talking as events take place)
NOTES [246 words]: This apparently began as a nineteenth century theater piece; a play called "The Maid and the Magpie" was seen by none other than Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll); see Jenny Woolf, The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, St. Martin's Press, 2010, p. 221.
Presumably this was in turn inspired by the poem "The Maid and the Magpie," credited to Charles Moreton and said to be "Founded on Facts." Moreton's poem is not this piece; it is much longer and in a different meter. There is a version available from Project Gutenberg. - RBW
I have not found a broadside but evidence that there is one is that there is a broadside parody: Bodleian, Harding B 11(2273), "The Maid and the Dustman. A popular parody on the 'Maid & magpie'" ("Once there was a maid who was thought very shy"), unknown, n.d. The parody description: The maid's lover is a tailor; she said they'd marry when he "signed the pledge again." She "hook'd it with the dustman" when her pa goes to church. The girl talks all day to the dustman [instead of the magpie]. When the tailor is asleep the girl goes to the dustman but they are interrupted by her mother. The tailor gets drunk and returns home to find the girl gone. He complains to her parents [instead of the magpie] who tell him about the dustman. The take her to court and she puts the blame on the dustman, who disappears; the bird reveals the truth. Neither tailor nor dustman want the girl thereafter "and she's got no one to cuddle, so she sleeps by herself." - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: MA044

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