Through the generosity of Bill Day, I was exposed to The Devil and the Feathery Wife (click), a delightful song. It has elements in common with The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Child 278), but I don't know if it really fits in as a version of Child 278.
I've found recordings by Martin Carthy; by Cooper, Nelson, and Goelz; and by Nick Dow.
Then I found this page at Reinhard Zierke's Website, which links "Feathery Wife" to "The Devil and the Ploughman," which still doesn't seem like a suitable linkage. Here's an excerpt from the analysis on Zierke's Website:
Martin Carthy commented in the first album's sleeve notes:
Secret Songs of Silence is the title of an unpublished manuscript dated 1832 and deposited in the Harvard Library, containing songs of the North East of Scotland collected together by Peter Buchan, many of them from a blind itinerant fiddle player called Rankin.
Incurable romantics among us whose imaginations work overtime on hearing such a title might be disappointed on discovering that the songs were considered unsuitable for publication - because many of them were too blunt and would not be cheered up by the thought that The Devil and the Feathery Wife is surely about the demonstration of true love. Indeed, if it is not, it might be hard to find a song that is. Learned from A. L. Lloyd, who brushed it up and fitted a tune.
So, what I'm wondering is, are there other early versions of this particular song, or is Secret Songs of Silence the only source we have? Could it be that "Feathery Wife" is mostly a Martin Carthy creation? Is there a Bert Lloyd recording? Yes, I know there are earlier versions of "Farmer's Curst Wife," but I'm wondering about this Feathery Wife song.