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Old Maid in the Garrett
 
Traditional
This may be a variant of a 17th century ballad by Martin Parker of London, The Wooing Maid. The Wooing Maid, which was sung to the tune "If 'be the dad on't", was printed on a broadside which was entered in the Stationers' Register June 18, 1636 by Thomas Lambert. Later versions are definitely similar to an early 19th century ballad, The Old Maid's Last Prayer (circa 1825).  
 

 
Now I've often heard it said from my father and my mother
That going to a wedding was the makings of another
Well, if this be so, then I'll go without a biddance
Oh kind providence, won't you send me to a wedding

Chorus:
And it's oh, dear me, how would it be
If I died an old maid in the garrett?

Well, now there's my sister Jean, she's not handsome or good-looking
Scarcely fifteen and a fellow she was courting
Now, she's twenty-four with a son and a daughter
Here am I at forty-five and I've never had an offer

I can cook and I can sew, I can keep the house right tidy
And wake up in the morning to get the breakfast ready
There's nothing in this wide world would make me half so cheery
As a wee, fat man who would call me his own deary

So come landsman or come kingsman, come tinker or come tailor
Come fiddler or come dancer, come ploughboy or come sailor
Come rich man, come poor man, come bore or come witty
Come any man at all who will marry me for pity

Well, now I the way home, for nobody's heeding
Oh, nobody's heeding to poor Annie's bleeding
So, I the way home to my own pity garret
If I can't have a man, then I'll have to get a parrot

 

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