Come Into The Garden, Maud

Album: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1857)


  • According to Derek Scott in The Singing Bourgeois, "Come Into The Garden, Maud" was written by Michael Balfe in 1857 for Sims Reeves, who first performed it at a morning concert. The song is actually a poem, "Song for Maud", by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-92) which Balfe set to music.
    The idea for the song appears to have come from the music publisher John Boosey who selected from Tennyson's lengthy 1855 work Maud and sent the verses to Balfe, who also added a few words of his own. The title is actually the first line of the poem. Tennyson was made Poet Laureate in 1850.
  • While Maud is a fairly black poem, there is nothing in the song that would have earned the displeasure of the Victorian censor, but decades later, Marie Lloyd gave the guardians of public morals food for thought. When she was summoned to appear before the Vigilance Committee, she performed two of her overtly risqué songs "Oh! Mister Porter" and "A Little Of What You Fancy" with schoolgirlish innocence, and "Come Into The Garden, Maud" with such innuendo that it shocked them into silence.
    A more presentable version was recorded by John McCormack. A fair recording was also made by the aforemenetioned Derek Scott, whose talents include a Professorship of Critical Musicology in the University of Leeds and composing classical music. His recording was made c1980, at baritone pitch to his own piano accompaniment. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Maud, and Other Poems was Alfred Tennyson's first collection after becoming poet laureate in 1850. It contained the controversially suggestive "Maud" and sold 5,000 copies on the day of publication.

    Tennyson composed "Song for Maud" which appears at the end of the first part of "Maud" at Swainston Manor, Calbourne, Isle of Wight. The poet earned so much from Maud, and Other Poems he was able to buy the neighboring mansion that he was renting and live there for the next 40 years.


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