Two Maids Went Milking One Day
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This English tune is also known as Three Maids Went A-Milking and The Blackbird in the Bush. According to Cole, it dates from the seventeenth century. Evidence for this is that the feminine symbolism of the milkpail can be traced to that time.

Two maidens went milking one day,
Two maidens went milking one day,
And the wind it did blow high,
And the wind it did blow low,
And it tossed their pails to and fro,
     la, la, la,
And it tossed their pails to and fro.

They met with a man they did know,
They met with a man they did know,
And they said, "Have you the will?"
And they said, "Have you the skill,
For to catch us a small bird or two,
     la, la, la,
For to catch us a small bird or two?"

"Oh, yes, I got an excellent good skill,
Oh, yes, I got an excellent good skill,
If you will come along with me
Under yonder flowering tree,
I might catch you a small bird ot two,
     la, la, la,
I might catch you a small bird or two."

So they went and they sat 'neath a tree,
The went and they sat 'neath two,
And the birds flew 'round about,
Pretty birds flew in and out,
And he caught them by one and by two,
     la, la, la,
And he caught them by one and by two.

Now, my boys, let us drink down the sun,
My boys, let us drink down the moon,
Take your lady to the wood
If you really think you should,
You might catch her a small bird or two,
     la, la, la,
You might catch her a small bird or two.
From Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
and
Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
See Bibliography for full information.