Thumbpick Thursday #10 - When You and I Were Young (Maggie)This is a wonderful old song (1864) by George Washington Johnson, written for his wife, Maggie, who had died from tuberculosis only two months after their wedding. Maybe not a Valentine's day kind of love song, but a love song nonetheless about a lifetime together with one you love.
George Washington Johnson was a Canadian schoolteacher who fell in love with one of his pupils, Margaret “Maggie” Clark. They were married in 1864, but she died only a few months after their wedding. He wrote When You and I Were Young, Maggie for her. J.A. Butterfield set the poem to music, and it has become a standard among folk and bluegrass musicians.
While I was in Mountain View last May and participating in one of several jam sessions, I suggested we play Maggie, and I sang the lead vocal. When we finished, one of the players looked at me and said, “I’ve been playing that song in jam sessions for probably 30 years, and that’s the first time I heard it had words.”