Maggie May (musical)

Maggie May (musical)

Maggie May is a musical with a book by Alun Owen and music and lyrics by Lionel Bart.

Based on "Maggie May", a traditional ballad about a Liverpool prostitute, it deals with trade union ethics and disputes and the life of streetwalker Margaret Mary Duffy after her sweetheart dies.[1]

The show includes bittersweet ballads, robust chorus numbers, and even some rock 'n' roll, making it one of the most musically diverse British scores of the 1960s. Steven Suskin, in reviewing a newly-released CD, wrote: the show begins with a "rather weird folk-ballad", and has "a couple of gentle lullaby-like ballads...raucous production numbers...which mixes a sailor's chanty with — what, Dixieland?"[2]

The West End production opened on September 22, 1964 at London's Adelphi Theatre, where it ran for 501 performances.[1] The cast included Rachel Roberts, Kenneth Haigh, Barry Humphries, Andrew Keir, and John Junkin.[3]

The musical won the Novello Award for outstanding score of the year and the Critics' Poll as best new British musical.[4]

Song list


  • Overture/The Ballad Of The "Liver" Bird
  • Lullaby/I Love A Man
  • Casey
  • Shine You Swine
  • Day Don’t Do Dat T’Day
  • I Told You So
  • Right Of Way
  • Stroll On
  • Away from Home
  • Maggie, Maggie May
  • D'Land of Promises
  • Carrying On
  • Union Cha-Cha
  • It’s Yourself
  • The World’s a Lovely Place
  • I'm Me
  • (We Don't All Wear) D’Same Size Boots
  • It's Yourself (Reprise)
  • Finale/The Ballad of the 'Liver' Bird (Reprise)

"Maggie, Maggie May", "The Land of Promises", "It's Yourself" and "There's Only One Union" were later recorded by American singer, Judy Garland. Garland was friends with Lionel Bart, who was also rumored to be Judy's manager at the time. The songs were recorded in London and released on the Capitol Records Label in September 1964. Garland subsequently recorded several of the songs again while performing with her daughter, Liza Minnelli at the London Palladium in November, 1964. Shirley Bassey released "It's Yourself" as her penultimate Columbia single in 1965.


  1. ^ a b c Maggie May production, plot, songs, accessed 16 July 2009
  2. ^ Suskin, Steven."On the Record:Maggie May, Roadside and 'Musicality' ,", 6 October 2002
  3. ^ " 'Maggie May' Listing, Songs and Cast", accessed 16 July 2009
  4. ^ Vallance, Tom."Obituary: Lionel Bart,"The Independent, 5 April 1999
  5. ^ "Original Cast Recording, 'Maggie May' Listing,", accessed July 16, 2009

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