George W. Johnson published his poem, “When You and I Were Young, Maggie,” in 1864. He married Margaret “Maggie” Clark that same year. Tragically, she died the following spring. In 1866, James Austin Butterfield wrote music for Johnson’s poem, creating a sentimental ballad.

Fiddlers like to play this tune fast—even quickening the title.


Maggie – regular speed
Maggie – slow

Backing Tracks

Maggie Backup – 69bpm
Maggie Backup – 104bpm
Maggie Backup – 120bpm

Sheet Music