The Maid Went to the Mill

This is a traditional number which the late, great Ewan MacColl, the Godfather of British Folk, learned from his dad when he was a nipper. I've done little to it, other than translate it into English from the original lowland Scots dialect (several non-native English speakers on Hârn-List have complained they find it near impossible to read dialect). You can hear the original, The Maid Gaed Tae The Mill, on MacColl's compilation album Black and White: The Definitive Collection (Cooking Vinyl Records).

American readers should note that in British English, corn means "grain", not "maize". However, in this song it means something completely different. Euphemism, sort of thing. Jolly entertaining.

The maid went to the mill last night
Hey-hey, so wanton!
The maid went to the mill last night
Hey, so wanton she!
She swore below the stars so bright
That she should have her corn ground,
She should have her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

Then out come miller's man
Hey-hey, so wanton!
Out come the miller's man
Hey, so wanton he!
He swore he'd do the best he can
For to get her corn ground
For to get her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

He put his hand about her neck
Hey-hey, so wanton!
He put his hand about her neck
Hey, so wanton he!
He flung her down upon a sack
And there she got her corn ground
There she got her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

When all the rest went to their play
Hey-hey, so wanton!
When all the rest went to their play
Hey, so wanton they!
She sighed and said she would not stay
Because she got her corn ground
Because she got her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

When nine months were passed and gone
Hey-hey, so wanton!
When nine months were passed and gone
Hey so wanton she!
This lassie had a brawling bairn
For getting of her corn ground
For getting of her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

Her mother bade her cast it out
Hey-hey, so wanton!
Her mother bade her cast it out
Hey, so wanton she!
It was the miller's dusty clout
For getting of her corn ground
Getting of her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

Her father bade her keep it in
Hey-hey, so wanton!
Her father bade her keep it in
Hey, so wanton he!
It was the chief of all her clan
For getting of her corn ground
Getting of her corn ground
The miller grounds so free!

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