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Maggie in the Woods (G)

Princess Maggie

Princess Maggie

“Maggie in the Woods” is a popular two-part polka, similar to “The Scartaglen Polka” (also in G), though the latter has three parts. There are some common lyrics to this polka:  If I met Maggie in the wood / I would kiss her if I could / that’s the thing would do her good / and a cup of tay in the morning. Though the lyrics were changed by the Chieftain’s piper Paddy Moloney, and recorded on the album Chieftains 8 (1978).  Paddy Moloney’s Lyrics are: If I had Maggie in the woods / I’d do her all the good I could / If I had Maggie in the woods / I’d keep here there til morning.  The reason for the change is an alleged comment by Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s sister. During her tour in the States in October of 1979, Irv Kupcinet reported in the Chicago Sun-Times that the princess had publicly characterized the Irish as “pigs.” Though the princess later denied the claim, the rest of her U.S. tour drew protests.  During a live radio interview a week prior to a Chieftains concert Paddy Moloney was asked to respond to the royal comment. Moloney answered by saying that his response would be revealed during the up-coming concert.  And, just as he had promised, the Chieftains played this polka, but did it as what John Glatt describes as “an almost rock ‘n’ roll song,” and they had Kevin Conneff sing the lyrics. (John Glatt, The Chieftains: The Authorized Biography, (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1997) 150.)

For the ABC click


G /   Em/ G / D / G /  Em/ G D /G

G Em /  / G  /  D / G Em / / G D / G

Maggie in the Woods, slow tempo (flute)

Maggie in the Woods, med tempo (mandolin)

Maggie in the Woods, med-fast tempo (fiddle, Glen Pekin)

Maggie in the Woods, the dots

Maggie in the Woods

Maggie in the Woods


  • Nuala Riordan
    Posted January 18, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Love it

  • Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant! Great help to my daughter learning thin whistle.

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