#01198
The Devil And The Farmer's Wife
(Radio YUR Folk Song Book)
See also: The Farmer's Cursed Wife (Peacock)

There was an old man lived over the hill,
If he ain't moved on, he's a-livin' there still;
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

Well, the devil came up to him one day,
Said, "One of your family I'm gonna take away."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

"Oh, please don't take my eldest son,
There's work on the farm that's got to be done."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

"All I want's that wife of yours."
"Well, you can take her with all of my heart."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

Well, he picks up the wife upon his back,
And off to hell he goes, clickety clack.
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

He carries her on about a mile down the road,
He said, "Old woman, you're a devil of a load."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

He carries her on down to the gates of hell,
He says, "Poke up the fire, we'll scorch her well."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

There were two little devils with a ball and chain,
She ups with her foot and kicks out their brains.
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

Nine little devils went climbin' up the walls,
Sayin', "Take her back, Daddy, she'll murder us all."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

Got up the next mornin' and spied thru the crack,
I seen the old devil come a-draggin' her back.
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

He said, "Here's your wife both sound and well,
If I kept her any longer, she'd a tore up hell."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

He said, "I been a devil most all my life.
But I never been in hell till I met your wife."
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

This shows that women are better than the men,
They can go down to hell and come back again.
Sing fi-fi, diddle-i-fi, diddle-i, diddle-i-ay.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British ballad (Child ballad #278) The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965) ....####
This variant published on-line in the Radio YUR Folk Song Word Book.

Three variants were collected by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Farmer's Cursed Wife in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.265-268, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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