Maggie Mae’s Name

The long shotgun bar was the first building to be acquired and was named Maggie Mae’s Lime Street Station in 1978. Both names, Maggie Mae and Lime Street Station were influenced by a person and a place in Liverpool, England. Maggie May (original spelling) was a lady of the evening, who was notorious for rolling sailors in the hay and then “rolling” them for their clothes and valuables. She was eventually caught and sent to a penal colony in Australia.

Lime Street had a worldwide reputation for “ladies of the evening”, with one name particularly associated with that trade, but as the closing line of the traditional sailors song tells us “she’ll never shine in Lime Street no more”. It has been the informal anthem of the city of Liverpool for about 180 years.

In the 1800′s, especially during the so called “naughty nineties”, when Maggie and her contemporaries offered their services to seamen and others on Lime Street and in the public houses, which lined that famous thoroughfare, Maggie May, herself, was known to plie her trade in the American Bar. The American Bar exists on Lime Street in Liverpool today and is known as “McHale’s Irish and American Bar”.

 

MAGGIE MAY
(Traditional 19th Century Liverpool Seamen’s Song)

Now gather round you sailor boys, and listen to my plea
And when you’ve heard my tale you’ll pity me
For I was a real damned fool in the port of Liverpool
The first time that I came home from the sea

I was paid off at the Home, from a voyage to Sierra Leone
Two pounds ten and sixpence was my pay
When I drew the tin I grinned, but I very soon got skinned
By a girl by the name of Maggie May

Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they’ve taken you away
They’ve sent you to Van Diemen’s cruel shore
For you robbed so many a sailor, and skinned so many a whaler
And you’ll never shine in Lime Street no more

I shan’t forget the day when I first met Maggie May
She was cruising up and down on Canning Place
With a figure so divine, like a frigate of the line
So, being a sailor, I gave chase

Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they’ve taken you away
They’ve sent you to Van Diemen’s cruel shore
For you robbed so many a sailor, and skinned so many a whaler
And you’ll  never shine in Lime Street no more

Next day I woke in bed, with a sore and aching head
No shoes, or shirt, or trousers could I find
I asked her where they were, and she answered, “My dear sir,
They’re down in Kelly’s knock-shop, number nine”

Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they’ve taken you away
They’ve sent you to Van Diemen’s cruel shore
For you robbed so many a sailor, and skinned so many a whaler
And you’ll never shine in Lime Street no more

Oh, you thieving Maggie May, you robbed me of my pay
When I slept with you last night ashore
And the judge he guilty found her of robbing a homeward-bounder
And she’ll never shine in Lime Street no more

Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they’ve taken you away
They’ve sent you to Van Diemen’s cruel shore
For you robbed so many a sailor, and skinned so many a whaler
And you’ll never never shine in Lime Street no more

 

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