A warning old song: Maiden Never Wedd An Old Man!

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A Scottish humorous song, “Maids When You’re Young Never Wed An Old Man” discourages young women in marrying men who are too old, and its song, between irony and bitterness, is a warning to all.
The great difference in age between the two spouses was still a custom until the mid-1900s: older men married to twenties girls, who played the role of ante litteram carers!

The humor of the song springs from the allusive but never explicit language and the most obscene words are beeped maidenas “faloorum” and “ding doorum”: at first the young woman is courted by the older man and agrees to marry him, but when it’s time for going to bed she discovers that unfortunately her old man is impotent. So as soon as the old man falls asleep the girl, she throws herself into the arms of a young and manly lover.

Nowaday this song makes us smile but in the nineteenth century it was considered rather spicy: the simple allusion to sex was vulgar but the reference to impotence and adultery had to be outrageous! Despite everything, it became a popular song in Scotland, England, Ireland and America. The first publication dates back to 1869 in “Ancient Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads” by David Herd under the title “Scant of Love, Want of Love”.

The Dubliners (Verses 1-3-4-5-6-7) The song was seen to be offensive due to its sexualized themes and was banned by RTÉ and the BBC

Mairi  Morrison & Alasdair Roberts in Urstan, 2012 (verses 1-2-4-3) for a more sober version. The CD was commissioned by Scotland’s Center for Contemporary Arts as a tribute to Gaelic music and culture. An artistic collaboration increasing freshness and creativity.

Lucy Ward in “Adelphi Has to Fly” 2011, nominated Best Traditional Track BBC Folk Awards 2012.

CHORUS
For he’s got no faloorum,
fadidle eye-oorum

He’s got no faloorum,
fadidle  all day
He’s got no faloorum,
he’s lost his ding doorum
so maids when you’re young,
never wed an old man

I
An old man  came courting me,
hey ding dooram day (1)
An old man came courting me,
me being Young(2)
An old man came courting me,
all for to  marry me(3)
Maids, when you’re young
never wed an old man

II
When we sat down to tea,
hey doo me darrity
When we sat down to tea, me being young
When we sat down to tea, he started teasing me
Maids when you’re young
never wed an old man

III
When we went to church,
hey ding dooram day
When we went to church,
me being young
When we went to church,
he left me in the lurch (4)
Maids when you’re young,
never wed an old man

IV
When we went to bed,
hey ding doorum day
When we went to bed, me being young
When we went to bed,
he lay like he was dead (5)
Maids when you’re young
never wed an old man

V
So I threw me leg  over him ,
hey ding dorum da
I flung me leg over him, me being young
I flung me leg over him, damned nearly smothered him
Maids when you’re young
never wed an old man.

VI
When he went to sleep,
hey ding doorum day
When he went to sleep, me being young
When he went to sleep, out of bed I did creep
Into the arms of a handsome young man
VII
And I found his faloorum,
fadidle eye-oorum
I found his faloorum,
fadidle all day
I found his faloorum, he got my ding doorum
So maids when you’re young
never wed  an old man

VIII
I wish this old man would die,
hey-ding-a  doo-rum
I wish this old man would die, me being Young
I wish this old man would die, I’d make the  money fly
Girls, for your sake,
never wed an old man

IX
A young man is my delight,
hey-ding-a  doo-rum
A young man is my delight, me being Young
A young man is my delight, he’ll kiss you day  and night
Maids, when you’re young,
never wed an old  man

NOTE
1) or “Hey do a dority”
2) or Hey-do-a-day
3) or Fain wad he mairry me
4) or ” I left him in the lurch”
5) or “he neither done nor said”, and” he lays like a lump of lead”

LINKS

https://mainlynorfolk.info/eliza.carthy/songs/anoldmancamecourting.html
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/
never_wed_an_old_man_pmcnamara.htm

http://sangstories.webs.com/anauldmancamcourtin.htm
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/m/maidswhe.html