The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123801   Message #2732727
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
27-Sep-09 - 06:48 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Devil and the Feathery Wife
Subject: RE: Origins: The Devil and the Feathery Wife
The Roud index lists the Buchan's Secret Songs of Silence pp97-100 as the only source with text, Roud number 12551. Under that number, there is also an entry under the title Politick Wife from Dicey & Marshall's Catalogue of Old Ballads, p.93, which is a reference only. In this post: Thread:Why is misogyny so prevalent in trad? Malcolm Douglas posted a link to the Bodleian with 2 copies of Politick Wife (he mentions 3 copies but this search seems to return only 2. I haven't looked for any more).

I'd assume from Martin's comment Learned from A. L. Lloyd, who brushed it up and fitted a tune, that Bert Lloyd found the source and adapted it for singing.

There is an article by Ian Spring in Folklore vol 99;ii 1988 on this - you can see the start via jstor: The Devil and The Feathery Wife, which looks as if it might be interesting, but I have no access to it (beyond the 1st page which you can see here).