Maggie in the Woods

Play recording: Maggie in the Woods

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  • Teideal (Title): Maggie in the Woods.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 850112.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): James Cowdery.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): between 1979 and 1981.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.


If I had Maggie in the woods
If I had Maggie in the woods
If I had Maggie in the woods
I’d roll her in me arms.


I know well what Maggie wants
I know well what Maggie wants 
I know well what Maggie wants
To keep her belly warm!

It goes on like that, you know! But of course, I would never go up on a stage and do that. I might say, ‘I know what Maggie wants’ – you know, something else, I’d say, something polite, I’d say. But this is the way that the songs were… And they were meant for sore ears, I suppose.


One of the (many) names of this polka is, unsurprisingly, Maggie in the Woods. It’s the same tune associated with An bhFaca Tú Mo Shéamaisín. But while the latter song sets text to the whole tune, here the words appear only in the second half.