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


Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil

DigiTrad:
DEVIL AND THE FARMER'S WIFE
DEVIL AND THE FARMER'S WIFE (6)
KELLYBURNBRAES
TEE ROO
THE DEVIL AND THE FARMER'S WIFE
THE WOMEN ARE WORSE THAN THE MEN


Related threads:
Tune Req: The Women Are Worse than the Men (18)
(origins) Lyr Add: The Devil and the Ploughman (8)
Scottish Emigrant Songs (101)
Lyr Req: I went to town to find me a wife... (3)
Lyr Req: Johnny Be Gay If You Can Be (19)
Lyr Req: killy born brae or killy burn brae (17)
Lyr Req: Cursed Farmers Wife (9)
So where is Killieburne??? (5)
Lyr Req: The Divil [sic] and the Farmer (14)


Stewie 30 Aug 02 - 10:51 PM
masato sakurai 30 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM
masato sakurai 30 Aug 02 - 11:39 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 02 - 11:54 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM
Garry Gillard 01 Sep 02 - 09:37 AM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Sep 02 - 05:02 AM
Sandy Paton 02 Sep 02 - 03:38 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: OLD LADY AND THE DEVIL
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 10:51 PM

Here's the version of the 'Farmer's Cursed Wife' that appeared in Harry Smith's anthology. Bill and Belle Reed were probably from Virginia or Kentucky. Belle Reed is not to be confused with Ola Belle Reed. There have been numerous recordings of this. A relatively recent recording, which substantially follows the Reed version, can be found on Spider John Koerner's 'Raised by Humans' Red House RHR CD 44.

OLD LADY AND THE DEVIL
(Traditional)

There was an old man lived at the foot of the hill
If he ain't moved away, he's a-livin' there still
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

He hitched up his horse and went out to plough
How he got around, we never knew how
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Old devil come to him in the field one day
Sayin', 'One of your family I'm gonna take away'
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Take her on, take her on with the joy of my heart
I hope by golly you'll never part
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Old devil got her all up on his back
He looked like a pedlar with a hump on his back
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Old devil got to the forks of the road
He said, 'Old lady, you're a hell of a load'
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Old devil got to the gates of hell
Said, 'Punch (?) the fire up, we'll scorch her well'
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Out come a little devil a-draggin' a chain
She picked up a hatchet and split out his brains
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Out come a little devil a-skatin' on a wall
Sayin, 'Take her back, daddy, she's a-murderin' us all'
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Little devil was a-peepin' out the crack
Sayin', 'Take her home, daddy, don't you bring her back
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old man was a-peepin' out the crack
He see'd they old devil come wagonin' her back
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old man lay sick in the bed
She up with a butter stick and rattled his head
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old lady went whistlin' over the hill
Sayin', 'The devil won't have you and I don't know who will'
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Now you see what a woman can do
She can outdo the devil and the old man too
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old lady went whistlin' over the hill
Sayin', 'The devil won't have you and I don't know who will
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old man was a-peepin' out the crack
He see'd they old devil come wagonin' her back
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

The old man lay sick in the bed
She up with a butter stick and rattled his head
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Now you see what a woman can do
She can outdo the devil and the old man too
Singin' fa diddle-a, diddle-a, fa diddle-a, diddle-a day

Source: transcription of 'Old Lady and the Devil' recorded by Bill and Belle Reed on 17 October 1928 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Reissued on Various Artists 'Anthology of American Folk Music Vol I: Ballads' Smithsonian/Folkways SFW 40090.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: masato sakurai
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM

From Supplemental Notes:

(alternate titles: Battle Axe and the Devil; Devil and the Farmer's Wife; The Farmer's Curst Wife).

The Reeds apparently were involved in one recording session for Columbia in Johnson City. Not a great deal is known about who they were but it is thought that all the artists at this session were from the nearby region. They probably were from Virginia or Kentucky (Charles Wolfe). The Reeds also recorded two songs during this session with their children. Belle Reed is not to be confused with Ola Belle Reed who made numerous later recordings. This traditional ballad has been recorded frequently.

OTHER RECORDED VERSIONS INCLUDE:
Traditional American folk: See as The Farmer's Curst Wife (Sheila Adams Barnhill (Granny Dell 3107d); Lena Armstrong and Etta Jones (FL 22a); Kenneth Ward Atwood (Okehdokee 76004a); E.C. and Orna Ball (ATL 82496c); Horton Barker (FW 2362c, LC L1a, LC AFSL1a); Joe Hubbard (BRI 002a); Lewis Lund (NW 239a); Andrew Rowan Summers (FW 2021c)); as Old Woman and the Devil (John Jacob Niles (TRD 1046a)); as The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Hamper McBee (RND 0061a); Hobart Smith (FL 17a); Doc Watson (VG 2115a)).

Folksong revival: see as The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Oscar Brand (Caedmon 1624a); Richard Dyer-Bennet (DYB 13c, VG 6007c); John McCutcheon (JA 003a); Tony and Judy Seeger (Indiana Archives of Traditional Music d)); as The Divil and the Farmer (Burl Ives (COL 6058a)); as The Farmer's Cursed Wife (Patrick Sky (VG 79207a)); as the Farmer's Curst Wife (Ted Ashlaw (PH 1022a); Caswell Carnahan (KM 316d); Paul Clayton (FW 2110c); Sam Eskin (CK 1020c); Anne Grimes (FW 5217c); Sam Hinton (DEC 8108a); Spider John Koerner (RDH 44c); John Langstaff (TRD 1009a); Sandy and Caroline Paton (FL 1002d); Peggy Seeger (RVR 12-655a); Pete Seeger (FW 2319c); Jeff Warner and Jeff Davis (Warner-Davis 102c); George and Mary Williamson (OH 80006a)).
Post revival: as The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Hesperus (Golden Apple 7553c); Bruce Hutton (MMC 9040d)).

Children: as the Farmer's Cursed Wife (Tom Glazer (CMS 4650d)).

Country/String Band: as The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Cat Cane Ramblers Fiddle Band (Voyager 3055a); West Orrtanna String Band (RVH 932a)).

Bluegrass: as the Farmer's Cursed Wife (Tim O'Brien (SGH 3808c)).

Rock: as the Farmer's Cursed Wife (Spud (Sonet 742a)).

British: as The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Frankie Armstrong (SRR 4211a); Gryphon (Transatlantic 262a)).

Irish: as The Farmer's Curst Wife (Seamus Ennis (TRD 2013a)).

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: masato sakurai
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 11:39 PM

Versions in the DT:

THE WOMEN ARE WORSE THAN THE MEN

THE DEVIL AND THE FARMER'S WIFE

TEE ROO

KELLYBURNBRAES

DEVIL AND THE FARMER'S WIFE

THE DEVIL AND THE PLOUGHMAN (in the forum)

See also The Traditional Ballad Index: Farmer's Curst Wife, The [Child 278].

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 11:54 PM

Thread 17306, Devil and the Plough, has much information on this Child ballad: Devil and the Plough
Also see thread 16798: Curst
This song is cursed with titles! It shows up in many collections. "The Old Man Under the Hill" is one common title (Randolph).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM

I seem to have missed that last one two years ago when I added all those links to the "Penguin" Devil and the Ploughman thread mentioned twice above; thanks for spotting it. I'll just add that, beside being Child no.278, it's assigned no.160 in the Roud Folk Song Index.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 09:37 AM

The Devil and the Feathery Wife


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 05:02 AM

Which is a fine song, though not related to The Farmer's Cursed Wife. It appeared on broadsides as The Politick Wife, and three examples can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The politick wife. Or the Devil outwitted by a woman Harding B 4(58)- printer and date unknown.

The politick wife: or The devil out-witted by a woman Douce Ballads 2(175b) -printer and date unknown, presumed 18th century.

The politick wife: or, The devil outwitted by a woman Printed between 1736 and 1763 by W. and C. Dicey, the Printing-Office in Bow-Church-Yard, London.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Lady and the Devil
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 03:38 PM

There is another version of this ballad on Folk-Legacy, probably overlooked by the incredibly well-informed Masato because I listed it using the artist's title, rather than the one given it by Child. Check out "Randy Riley" on my recording of Adirondack logger, fiddler and singer Lawrence Older (FL-15), now available as a custom cassette and soon to be available as a custom CD (we're getting there, finally!).

Sandy


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: 18 November 6:58 AM EST

[ 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.