> Folk Music > Songs > The Maid's Lament

The Maid's Lament

[ Roud 1074 ; Ballad Index HaGa028 ; trad.]

Fred Hamer collected The Maid's Lament from Mrs Johnstone of Bedford in March 1959. He printed it in his 1967 E.F.D.S. book Garners Gay. Mrs Johnstone's recording was included on the accompanying EFDSS album Garners Gay. Fred Hamer noted:

This is one of the many songs Mrs Johnstone remembers hearing her mother sing at the washtub. She is now an old age pensioner, but she retains the voice of a girl and her cheerful serenity makes all her younger friends call her mum.

Bedfordian Jack Sharp sang Maid's Lament on his 2020 album Good Times Older.

Lyrics

Mrs Johnstone sings The Maid's Lament Jack Sharp sings Maid's Lament

I can bake and I can brew,
I can cook an Irish stew,
Wash a shirt and iron it too,
But I must go out on Sundays.

I can bake and I can brew,
I can cook an Irish stew,
Wash a shirt and iron it too,
But I must go out on Sundays.

Six days I work with all my might,
To keep the pots and kettles bright,
And put the cobwebs out of sight,
But I must go out on Sundays.

Six days I work with all my might,
To keep the pots and kettles bright,
And put the cobwebs out of sight,
But I must go out on Sundays.

I have a young man in the town,
Some day we hope to settle down,
Then I shall have a nice new gown
When we go out on Sundays.

I have a young man in the town,
Some day we'd like to settle down,
Then I can wear a nice new gown
When we go out on Sundays.

(repeat first verse)

(repeat first verse)