'When You and I Were Young, Maggie'
'When You and I Were Young, Maggie'. Ballad (1866) by the English-born James A. Butterfield (1837-91) to a poem written in Hamilton, Ont, by G.W. (George Washington) Johnson (b Binbrook, Upper Canada, 1839, d Pasadena, Cal, 1917), a schoolteacher who later taught languages and mathematics at the University of Toronto. The poem was written ca 1864 as a pledge of undying love to Johnson's wife, Maggie Clarke (who would die in 1865), and published in the collection Maple Leaves
(Hamilton 1864). It was set to music in Indianapolis, Ind, by Butterfield, who published the song there 19 May 1866. One of the most popular ballads of the early 20th century, it was recorded by many artists (some listed in Roll Back the Years
), including the tenors Henry Burr
, Harry MacDonough
, John McCormack, and Frank Munn, and several instrumentalists. The song, or its melody, also was recorded during the 1930s by the jazz musicians Benny Goodman, Tommy Ladnier, Red Nichols, Fats Waller, and Teddy Wilson, among others.