Maids When You're Young

Maids, when you are young, never wed an old man. There is, however, no rule for lively old maids wedding young men. This vignette was spotted at the Ulster American Folk Park
••• Maids, when you are young, never wed an old man. There is, however, no rule for lively old maids wedding young men. This vignette was spotted at the Ulster American Folk Park. © Bernd Biege 2016

Maids, when you're young, never wed an old man ... because, let's not beat about the bush, you have sexual needs (even if you are Irish), and these are often not all too adequately met by a partner of advanced age. So, never wed an old man. Okay, this song comes from a time when Viagra and Cialis were not yet household names. And even caused a minor scandal when released as a single by The Dubliners, who had already enraged the population with "Seven Drunken Nights" before ...

Maids When You're Young - the Lyrics

Because he's got no faloorum, faliddle aye oorum
He's got no faloorum, faliddle aye ay
He's got no faloorum, he's lost his ding-doorum
So maids when you're young never wed an old man

An old man came courting me, hey ding-doorum down
An old man came courting me, me being young
An old man came courting me, fain he would marry me
Maids when you're young never wed an old man

Because he's got no faloorum, faliddle aye oorum
He's got no faloorum, faliddle aye ay
He's got no faloorum, he's lost his ding-doorum
So maids when you're young never wed an old man

When we went to church, hey ding-doorum down
When we went to church, me being young
When we went to church, he left me in the lurch
Maids when you're young never wed an old man

Because he's got no faloorum, faliddle aye oorum
He's got no faloorum, faliddle aye ay
He's got no faloorum, he's lost his ding-doorum
So maids when you're young never wed an old man

When we went to bed, hey ding-doorum down
When we went to bed, me being young
When we went to bed, he lay like he was dead
Maids when you're young never wed an old man

Because he's got no faloorum, faliddle aye oorum
He's got no faloorum, faliddle aye ay
He's got no faloorum, he's lost his ding-doorum
So maids when you're young never wed an old man

When he went to sleep, hey ding-doorum down
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

And I found his faloorum, faliddle aye oorum
I found his faloorum, faliddle aye ay
I found his faloorum, he's got my ding-doorum
So maids when you're young never wed an old man

Maids When You're Young - the Background

Do I need to draw you a picture? Young woman, old man, marriage of convenience ... and then he lies like dead in the bridal chamber. Which results in her getting a bit of fun on the side with a younger specimen of the male demographic. That's it. Cautionary tale for all those women who actually know that there is more than scrubbing and cooking to a marriage.

What might be a bit more surprising, though, is the direct path to marital infidelity to satisfy the female needs - this really is not the Irish thing to do. Which would be more like saying three Hail Marys while srubbing the stone floor with ice-cold water to banish dirt and lusty thoughts.

Maids When You're Young - the Scandal

"Maids, When You're Young Never Wed An Old Man" was released as a single (that, kids, was a smaller vinyl pressing that rotated at 45 rpm) by seminal folk group The Dubliners, four days before Christmas in December 1967.

And was well-known immediately for all the wrong reasons - the song was deemed to be offensive by the state broadcasters in the British Isles, the theme of female sexuality (let alone of the extra-marital kind) and erectile dysfunction being too much.

Consequently, the song was banned by both RTÉ and the BBC. Unlike other banned songs, it also suffered in the charts, reaching only 43rd place in the UK, and 11th place in the Republic of Ireland.

At the end of the day it is very much like Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" ... adults will channel their inner 13-year-old and grin, while it is not half as offensive as the moral righteousness brigade makes it out to be. Storm in a teacup, so to say.