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The Charlie Maguire Songbook

Words and Chords to His Most Popular Songs

Fine Old Lady

Words & Music by Charlie Maguire © 2000 Mello-Jamin Music. All rights reserved.

I wrote this song at Lee Hay's home in Croton-on-Hudson, NY in 1972. I'd go over to his house in the morning and write, and then I'd play my new song for him when he got up. Woody Guthrie did the same thing in Lee's home in NYC thirty years earlier, so he was used to it. Lee Hays was wonderful and he was a big part of my education. Folk singing is not something you go to school to learn; it's a trade you learn from other folk singers; directly and personally for them if you are lucky...

Play Sample


Here she comes, moving slow

            Am    F             G
A fine old lady, with a heavy load

C                 C7-F
Here she comes, soon she'll go

C               Am          F      G     C         Am-C
Sailing on the lake to the ocean down below, down below


C                    F             C
She's a tough boat, on some rough water

C                   Am            F            G
Braving the spring ice, and the mean season storm

C        C7     F
Sailing alone, into the bay

C               Am       F     G       C
A woman who is used to making her own way

Additional verses:

She's a homely queen, dressed in working clothes
Bound and determined to get her cargo home
A woman of the world, you can see that in her face
Her lovers are all sailors who take her from place to place

No one can say that she is a beauty
Rust colored as the far hills she's passing by
But when she leaves, some early morning
She leaves behind a man wishing to go to her tonight

Previous Songs: I Like It Here/O Cold and Misery * The Teton Dam * Goodnight Baby * The B. C. Rail * Play Us a Waltz * Ozawindib * Long Way to Another Friend * Itasca: A Place of Beginnings * I'm From Minnesota * The Ballad of Augie Mattsen * The Strike Is On * Sam Smith * Mary Gibbs * The C.C.C. * Interstate of Broken Hearts * Rainfall Has Turned to Snow * Getting in the Cows * Gypsy Woody * We'd Go To Town (And Go Dancing) * Talking Home Improvement * Towboat * L'Etoile Du Nord * The Hinkley Fire * Fall Is Here * Itasca * Winter on the Farm * Darling

This month's song

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