Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?

DigiTrad:
THE DEVIL AND THE BAILIFF


Lesley N. 22 Jan 00 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,jed@innocent.com 22 Jan 00 - 10:27 PM
Áine 23 Jan 00 - 07:55 PM
John Moulden 24 Jan 00 - 07:52 AM
GeorgeH 24 Jan 00 - 08:43 AM
Lesley N. 25 Jan 00 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,eldergirl 25 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM
MartinRyan 25 Jun 13 - 02:35 PM
Joe Offer 25 Jun 13 - 03:17 PM
MartinRyan 25 Jun 13 - 03:37 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Jun 13 - 05:13 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jun 13 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 26 Jun 13 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,eldergirl 01 Jul 13 - 06:28 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jul 13 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Jimbo 17 Jan 16 - 02:39 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 22 Jan 00 - 01:26 PM

The Devil and the Bailiff (aka The Devil and MaGlyn, aka McGlynn) was posted to DT and noted that the words were by Cathal MacGarvey. It is in Steve Roud's Folksong Index with a note that it was collected in Northern Ireland by Sean O'Boyle and Peter Kennedy - but the date is 1952. The air is said to be traditional. Can anyone give me some background on Cathal MacGarvey or the tune??

As always, thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: GUEST,jed@innocent.com
Date: 22 Jan 00 - 10:27 PM

i play with the Malin Head Hooliganz and am intrested in all irish drinkin songs thanx jed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Áine
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 07:55 PM

Refresh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: John Moulden
Date: 24 Jan 00 - 07:52 AM

I know nothing about Cathal McGarvey but this authorship, is ascribed to the song in Walton's publications and such attrbutions are always suspect. The 1952 collection by Sean OBoyle was from the Fermanagh singer, Michael Gallagher, an uncle of Paddy Tunney. His tune is a common jig tune whose name I don't know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 24 Jan 00 - 08:43 AM

Someone needs to ask June Tabor the source of her very fine version of this song (on "Ashes and Diamonds"); that just might add a little more information. Also, this song has been discussed in r.m.folk (I think) a while back - I don't recall the question of authorship cropping up then, but a search of DejaNews might turn up something.

G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 25 Jan 00 - 09:02 AM

Found the thread in r.m.f. but as you suspected, there was nothing as to authorship and nothing turned up in a search... but I'll keep looking! Thanks for the extra info.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: the devil, the bailiff and the blasted P
From: GUEST,eldergirl
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM

The original thread slightly related to my query has had nowt new since 2002, so I'm starting over, especially as my request is way more specific, to wit; why would the owner of the Bonham/banbh/?? suggest that the devil take him/it for a pig, if he/it were a pig already? Why is that an insult? I know pigs are clever animals, but.. On June Tabor's version (ashes and diamonds) it sounds to me like she sings Bondman, which makes more sense. Any comments? Any experts on Irish slang? Would an indebted enslaved labourer have been referred to as a piglet? Is there a sensible answer out there? please..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the devil, the bailiff and the blasted P
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 02:35 PM

You might post a link to the original thread - or just to the lyrics of the June Tabor version?

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 03:17 PM

Hi, Eldergirl -
I combined your thread with the previous one - it just gets too confusing when you split discussions.

Here's what the Traditional Ballad Index has to say about the song:

    Devil and Bailiff McGlynn, The

    DESCRIPTION: A woman wishes the Devil take a piglet digging her potatoes and a boy stealing her piglet. He refuses because "it was only her lips that have said it." When she wishes the Devil take the bailiff , he does: "Twas straight from her heart that came surely"
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (IRTunneyFamily01)
    LONG DESCRIPTION: The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn discuss business. Nearby a woman wishes the Devil take a piglet digging among her potatos but the Devil won't take it because "it was only her lips that have said it, and that's not sufficient for me." Then a boy runs off with the piglet and she wishes the Devil might take him, but the Devil doesn't because "it was only her lips that have said it, and that's not sufficient for me." When she sees the bailiff and wishes the Devil take him, it's done: says the Devil, "Twas straight from her heart that came surely"
    KEYWORDS: curse farming humorous animal youth Devil
    FOUND IN: Ireland
    REFERENCES (1 citation):
    Tunney-StoneFiddle, p. 95, "The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn" (1 text)
    Roud #5294
    RECORDINGS:
    Michael Gallagher, "The Devil and Bailiff Maglyn" (on IRTunneyFamily01)
    NOTES: Tunney-StoneFiddle: "Even his [Uncle Mick's] songs of the Land War [roughly 1879-1885] and landlordism, with all its attendant evils, had a spark of humour in them. For example, listen to this little ditty describing the love and affection in which bailiffs were held in those stirring days." - BS
    For background on the Land War, see e.g. "The Bold Tenant Farmer." However, there is reason to doubt this link (even if the Land War caused the Irish to tell more tales about the evils of bailiffs).
    Abby Sale points out to me the clear connection between this song and the tale of "The Devil and the Bailiff" found in Asbjornsen and Moe. There seems to an equivalent Irish tale, though all the printed versions of it seem to be modern.
    In outline, the story that the Devil comes to collect the Bailiff -- but stops to chat for a bit. They hit it off well -- presumably because they are so alike. The song hints at this:
    Now, one of these boys was the devil
    And the other was Bailiff McGlynn,
    And the one was as foul as the other
    And both were as ugly as sin.
    They agree to a some sort of contest, the idea apparently being that they travel along together and listen to people cursing. If someone is cursed soon enough, then the Devil takes *that* soul rather than the Bailiff's. But the curse must be "from the heart."
    They visit a cottage, and as they come by, the pet pig gets its snout in the cream, and the woman says, "The devil take the pig" -- but they do not take the pig, because the curse was not from the heart. Later, a mother curses her child for being mischievous. Again, the curse is not meant. But the two then meet a pair of farmers, who curse the bailiff. That curse, the Devil declares, is from the heart -- and the bailiff is taken.
    The tale is even older in England -- Murray Schoolbraid points that it is The Friar's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales -- although in Chaucer, it is a Summoner who meets the fiend (a point Chaucer uses to bring out the rivalry between Friar and Summoner), and the devil is in disguise and the two agree to share whatever they get (an idea similar to the hunting contest in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).
    The question then becomes, Where did Chaucer get the tale? Benet, p. 408, says that it is from the Latin Promptuarium Exemplorum, and others agree that it is an exemplum -- i.e. a story around which morality tales and sermons can be built.
    Chaucer/Benson, p. 875, says that "The tale of the heart-felt curse is probably of folk origin, and numerous analogies found across northern Europe indicate that any avaricious type might be used for the role here played by a summoner." The notes mention in particular Caesarius of Heisterbach's Libri VIII miraculorum, of the thirteenth century, in which the guilty party is an advocatus or administrator of church estates. But the Riverside editors note that there are two similar English folktales which resemble Chaucer's in that the man fails to realize he is under threat. One of these is from a sermon by Robert Rypon of Durham in which the man is actually a bailiff (Ohlgren/Matheson, p. 45, add that the sermon was in Latin, and point to an additional work about it by Helen Cooper). As usual, of course, Chaucer amplified the tale.
    Walton credits the song to Cathal McGarvey (1866-1927), but Walton's attributions are said to be very suspect, and it is interesting that the only collections seem to be from Tunney and his uncle, Michael Gallagher. Still, it seems certain that someone rewrote the tale as a song; the only question is, Who? - RBW
    Bibliography
    • Benet: William Rose Benet, editor, The Reader's Encyclopdedia, first edition, 1948 (I use the four-volume Crowell edition but usually check it against the single volume fourth edition edited by Bruce Murphy and published 1996 by Harper-Collins)
    • Chaucer/Benson: Larry D. Benson, general editor, The Riverside Chaucer, third edition, Houghton Mifflin, 1987 (based on F. N. Robinson, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, which is considered to be the first and second editions of this work)
    • Ohlgren/Matheson: Thomas H. Ohlgren, Robin Hood: The Early Poems, 1465-1560, Texts, Contexts, and Ideology, with an Appendix: The Dialects and Languages of Selected Robin Hood Poes by Lister M. Matheson, University of Delaware Press, 2007
    Last updated in version 2.6
    File: TSF095

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Song List

    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2013 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


For the sake of discussion, here are the Digital Tradition lyrics for the song, attributed to Cathal MacGarvey. Is that an accurate attribution, or is the song traditional?

THE DEVIL AND THE BAILIFF
(Cathal MacGarvey)

One fine pleasant evening last summer
I was strolling through Carhirciveen
When a pair of quare playboys collogin'
Before me I happened to see.
Now to know what these boyo's were up to
In a trifle I hastened me walk
And begor I soon learned their profession
When I got within line of their talk.

Well on of these lads was the divil
The other was bailiff McGlynn
And the one was as nice as the other
For both were as ugly as sin.
Says the ould lad,
"Ye know I'm the divil and you are a bailiff I see"
"It's the divil himself" says the bailiff
"Oh well that bates the divil" says he.

Then a young lad ran out of a cottage
And off with him over the fields.
"May the divil take you" says his mother
As she rattled a stone off his heels.
"Arrah why don't you take the young rascal,
"Your Highness," the Bailiff he cried.
"Ah! twas not from her heart the wish it came,"
The divil he smiling replied.

Close by a small plot of potatoes
A bonham was striving to dig
When the owner ran out and she shouted,
"May the divil take you for a pig."
Say the bailiff, "Now there's a fine offer,
Why not take the bonham?" says he.
Sez the divil, "Her lips only said it,
And that's not sufficient for me."

As they jogged on a young man espied them
And into his mother he fled
Shouting, "Oh, mother dear here's the bailiff,"
Well she clasped her two hands and she said,
"MAY THE DIVIL TAKE THAT UGLY BAILIFF."
Says the divil, "Begob that I'll do.
It was straight from her heart the wish it came,
So Bailiff McGlynn I'LL TAKE YOU."


The bailiff was one of the most feared and reviled people in Ireland in the
nineteenth century. In this song he gets his. (paraphrased from liner notes on
Brendan Nolan's CD "Across the Great Divide"
@Irish @devil @myth
filename[ DEVBAIL
BM
oct00


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 03:37 PM

"May the divil take you for a pig!"

why would the owner of the Bonham/banbh/?? suggest that the devil take him/it for a pig, if he/it were a pig already? Why is that an insult?

The sense is "May the Devil take you away, you miserable runt!".

Regards

p.s. Banbh (pronounced bonnive) is correct.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Jun 13 - 05:13 PM

Sings well to "Top of Cork Road"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 03:49 AM

Rewritten by MacColl in the early 1960s for an unreleased television film 'The Irishmen'.
The film is a fictionised account of a Connemara singer leaving home to work as a navvy in London; it includes some wonderful music by Seamus Ennis, Martin Byrnes, Bobby Casey...
It was shown on Irish television in 1999 as an obituary tribute to its director, Phillip Donnelan
Jim Carroll

THE DEVIL AND GANGER McGLYNN.

One fine Sunday morning in summer I wandered along the M.3,
When a couple of swaggering playboys before me I happened to see,
Well one of these was the devil and the other was Ganger McGlynn,
And the one was as black as the other and both were as ugly as sin.

Now a boy sweating at the muck-shifting he lifted his shovel to high,
"May the devil take you" said the other, "you've landed that muck in my eye"
"Now why don't you take him, the rascal, your highness" the Ganger he cried.
"0 'twas not from the heart that the wish came" the devil he smiling replied.

A bulldozer stalled and the fitter said "the gasket is all blown to hell".
"May the devil take you" said the driver "likewise your old gasket as well"
Says the Ganger "Now there's a fine offer, why not take the fitter?" said he.
"0 'twas but from his lips that he said it and that's not sufficient for me."

Some tigers were working a tunnel when part of the shield it did jam.
"May the devil run off with the feller invented the hydraulic ram
"Now there's a fine chance" said the Ganger "your lordship can have him for free"
"Oh no" said the choosy old devil "there must be conviction for me ".

A carpenter building a shutter, the timber was twisted and bent,
"May the devil snatch up the contractor and board him in hell without rent"
The Ganger then said with impatience "Now there's a soul well within reach"
"Oh no" said old nick "your mistaken, 'twas only a figure of speech".

As they jogged on a trench digger spied them and straight to his mates then he fled,
"Ah fellers "said he "here's the Ganger" and every man looked up and said
"May the devil take that ugly Ganger:" said the devil "Bedad that'll do"
"'Twas strait from the heart that came surely so Ganger McGlynn I'll take you".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 26 Jun 13 - 10:45 AM

In 2000, I knew nothing about Cathal McGarvey. Here's a bit more:
Born, 1866, Rathmullen, Co Donegal but lived most of his live in Dublin where he died in 1927. He was author also of Star of the County Down. According to Colm O Lochlainn (Songwriters of Ireland, Dublin, 1967)he was "A rousing singer and a good raconteur ... [he] was much in demand at concerts from about 1905 till a year or two before his death."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: GUEST,eldergirl
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 06:28 PM

Many thanks to you all for your time, information and patience with a newbie. It looks like I'll have to learn the Navvies version for a change! The original has been a favourite song of mine for a long time. Special thanks to Joe Offer for his detailed posting, and to Jim Carroll for Ganger McGlynn. I've tried to post a reply earlier, but had no joy so far, so hope this works.
Best from eldergirl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 13 - 03:46 AM

"I'll have to learn the Navvies version"
A number of songs MacColl made and re-made for the film which I feel are well worth re-visiting, one of the best in my opinion is his re-make of the beautiful exile song, Farewell to Ireland.
Also worth looking at:
New Rocks of Bawn
The Nipper's Song
Dublin Jack of All Trades
Rambling Irishman
Rambler from Clare (personal favourite)
Van Dieman's Land
Indeed I Would
Tunnel Tigers

An amusing story from when they were recording the music for the soundtrack.
They assembled a bunch of Irish musicians at the television studio and before the session commenced they all gathered in the hospitality suite for refreshments.
The company included a flute player and a fiddler who were from the same county and were former friends, but hadn't met for many years.
The conversation between them went something like:
Flute player. "Long time no see ******, what are you working at?"
Fiddler. "I'm with McAlpine's; I'm a ganger."
Enraged F.P, storming out of the room, "I'm not playing with any ***** fascist".
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Devil and the Bailiff - Info?
From: GUEST,Jimbo
Date: 17 Jan 16 - 02:39 PM

this song is a very old trad song and the tune is often played as a jig in its own right. There are different versions of lyrics e.g. common;y sung s the opening is "strolling through cathairsaidhbhin" rather than "down by the sea". Also bonaimh is irish for a piglet it is not slang as someone said.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 June 11:35 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.