Killyburn brae, Jack O’Lantern in a dress

Leggi in italiano

The theme of the Devil who tries to take a sinner to hell is a classic of the Celtic tales. In the ballad “Devil and the Farmer’s wife” dating back to 1600, the woman deserves the hell for her spiteful and disrespectful behavior; but the devil himself cannot tame her, indeed he risks losing his tranquility. 

LITTLE DEVILS

The ballad has spread widely in England, Ireland, Scotland and America with fairly similar text versions, albeit with melodies declined in a different way.
THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN (english version)
Lilli burlero
THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE (american version)
KILLYBURN BRAE (Irish version)
KELLYBURN BRAES (Scottish version)

The song is also known as “The Women Are Worse Than The Men” already recorded by Tommy Mackem in “From The Archives”, but these hills do not exist in Ireland as the name is a distortion of the Scottish one. The hills of Kellyburn are mounds in Scotland that separate the northern part of Ayrshire from Renfrew.

The Dubliners in A Parcel of Rouges 1976

Tommy Makem

The Irish Rovers in “The Boys Come Rollin’ Home”.


There was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
riful riful tidifol-dey
there was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
had a curse of the wife
for the most of his days(1)
with me foldadle-dah diddyfol-dah
foldadle-dal-da-daldadle-day
One day as this man
he walked out in the glen
well he met the devil
says how are you
The devil he says
” I have come for your wife
for I hear she’s the curse
and the bane of your life”
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back(2)
and away off to hell
with her he did whack
And when at last
they came to hell’s gate
well she lifted her stick
and she battered his pate
There were two little devils(3)
there tied up in chains
she lifted her stick
and she scattered their brains
There were two other devils
there roaring like bulls
well she lifted her stick
and she battered their skulls
There were two other devils
there playing at ball
well she lifted her stick
and she battered them all
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back
they were seven years(5) coming
and days going back
And when they came back
to Killieburn Brae
well the devil he cried
and shouted hooray
Says he “my good man
here’s your wife safe and well
for the likes of herself
we would not have been hell”
Which proves that the women
are worse than the men
when they go to the hell
they’re thrown out again
NOTE
1) the sentence wants to underline the less than submissive character of the woman!
2) the image is supported by a vast iconography dating back to the Middle Ages of women straddling the devil
3) the image of the devils literally massacred by the woman is very funny, unfortunately the domestic reality was very different and in general it was women who suffered mistreatment and violences.
4) the game with the ball is a common place of classical ballads that even hell does not escape
5) presumably the old man during the umpteenth quarrel with his wife called the devil to take her to hell; the two must have entered into a seven-year agreement.

Jack O’Lantern in a dress

Leggi in italiano

The theme of the Devil who tries to take a sinner to hell is a classic of the Celtic tales, made exemplary in the story of Jack O’Lantern: on the night of Halloween the Devil walks the earth to reclaim the souls of men, but Stingy Jack was able to decive him with some tricks; and for two years in a row! At last the Devil, scornfully, gives up Jack’s soul for another ten years. When Jack dies for his too many vices both the doors of Paradise and those of hell are barred for him; forced to wander in the dark, he receives as a gift from the Devil a ember to illuminate his path; since then Jack continues to roam the Limbo in search of a dwelling he will never find, with his pumpkin-shaped lantern (which originally, before the story landed in America, was a turnip (see HOP TU NAA Isle of Manx)

Devil and the Farmer’s wife

In the ballad “Devil and the Farmer’s wife” (also known as the Little Devils-Jean Ritchie) dating back to 1600, the woman deserves the hell for her spiteful and disrespectful behavior; but the devil himself cannot tame her, indeed he risks losing his tranquility. The similarity between the two stories occurs in one of the nineteenth-century versions (Macmath Manuscript 1862 cf) in which the devil says referring to the woman: “O what to do with her I cane weel tell; she’s no fit for heaven, and she’ll no bide in hell! ” just like Jack who found both the Gate of Heaven and Hell to be closed.
The ballad is probably even older, and some scholars link it to Chaucer’s Tales of Canterbury (Waltz and Engle).

LITTLE DEVILS

The ballad has spread widely in England, Ireland, Scotland and America with fairly similar text versions, albeit with melodies declined in a different way.
THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN (english version)
Lilli burlero
THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE (american version)
KILLYBURN BRAE (Irish version)
KELLYBURN BRAES (Scottish version)

THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN

The ballad appears in print in London in 1630 with the title “The Devill and the Scold” to the tune “The Seminary Priest” cf
Of this ballad there are two extant editions, the earlier being in the Roxburghe Collection. The second is in the Rawlinson Collection, No. 169, published by Coles, Vere, and other stationers– a trade edition, of the reign of Charles II. Mr. Payne Collier includes “The Devil and the Scold” in his volume of Eoxburghe Ballads, and says: “This is certainly an early ballad: the allusion, in the second room, to Tom Thumb and Robin Goodfellow (whose ‘Mad Pranks’ had been published before 1588) is highly curious, and one proof of its antiquity ..
The ballad is often printed in broadside throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and collected in two textual variants in “The English And Scottish Popular Ballads” (1882-1898) by Francis James Child  at number 278 with the title “The Farmer’s Curst Wife “.

The song was collected in 1903 by Henry Burstow, Sussex and published in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams and A.L. Lloyd (1959). Very similar to the text version reported by James Henry Dixon in “Ancient Poems, Ballads and Song” (1846) (Child # 278 version A cf).
Thus writes A.L. Lloyd in 1960 in the liner notes of “A Selection from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs”, echoing the notes reported by Child himself: The tale of the shrewish wife who terrifies even the demons is ancient and widespread. The Hindus have it in a sixth century fable collection, the Panchatantra. It seems to have traveled westward by Persia, and to have spread to almost every European country. In the early versions, the farmer makes a pact with his wife in return for a pair of plow oxen. Vaughan Williams got the present ballad from the Horsham shoemaker and bell-ringer, Henry Burstow. Mr Burstow whistled the refrains that in our performance are played by the concertina. Whistling was a familiar way of calling up the Devil (hence the sailors who whistling may raise a storm). (from here)

The shrewish wife is taken back to her husband who believed he had succeeded in making fun of the devil! Given the subject is among the most popular ballads in medieval festivals and pirate gatherings !!

from Kellyburn Braes, Sorche Nic Leodhas, illustrated by Evaline Ness, 1968

A.L. Lloyd

Kim Lowings & The Greenwood from This Life, 2012


There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell/ And he’d a bad wife as many knew well(1)
To me fal-de-ral little law-day.(2)
The Devil he came to the old man at plough,
Saying. ‘One of your family I must have now.
‘Now it isn’t for you nor yet for your son,
But that scolding old wife as you’ve got at home.’
Oh take her, oh take her with all of my heart,/ And I wish she and you may never more part.’
So the devil he took the old wife on his back(3),
And lugged her along like a pedlar’s pack./
He trudged along till he reached his front gate,
Says: ‘Here, take in an old   Sussex chap’s mate.
There was thirteen imps(4) all dancing in chains;
She up with her pattens and beat out their brains.
Two more little devils jumped over the wall,
Saying: ‘Turn her out, father, she’ll murder us all.’
So he bundled her up on his back again,/ And to her old husband he took her again.
I’ve been a tormentor the whole of my life,
But I was never tormented till I met your wife.’
And now to conclude and make an end,/ You see that the women is worse than the men,
If they got sent to Hell, they get kicked back again (5)

NOTE
1) the sentence wants to underline the less than submissive character of the woman!
2) Whistling was a way to summon the devil!
3) the image of women straddling the devil is supported by a vast iconography dating back to the Middle Ages
4) the image of the devils literally massacred by the woman is very funny, unfortunately the domestic reality was very different and in general it was women who suffered mistreatment and violence.
5)  Kim edited the final verse to show the strength of women:
And now to conclude and make an end
you see that us women are strong
even when we get sent to hell,
we come  straight back again

THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE: american version

Here too we find an almost identical textual version declined however with bluegrass melodies. The ending is very hilarious and often without the moral: the old farmer, seeing his wife return, rejected by the devil himself, decides to run and never go home again!

Heather Dale from Perpetual Gift 2012.

Jean Ritchie, British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 2


Well there was an old man living up on the hill/ If he ain’t moved on, he’s a livin’ there still
CHORUS Hi diddle ai diddle hi fi, diddle ai diddle ai day
Now the Devil he came to him one day
said “One of your kin I’m gonna take away“/ He said “Oh please don’t take my only son/ There’s work on the farm that’s gotta be done.
Oh but you can have my nagging wife
I swear by God, she’s the curse of my life”
So they marched on down to the gates of hell/ He Said “Kick on the fire boys, we’ll roast her well”
Out came a little devil with a spit and chain
that she upped with her foot and knocked out his brain
Out came a dozen demons then a dozen more
But when she was done they was flat on the floor

So all those little demons went scrambling up the wall
saying “tale her back, daddy, she’ll murder us all
So the Farmer woke up and he looked out the crack/ and he saw that devil bringing her back!
He said:”Here’s your wife both sound and well/ if I kept her any longer she’d’ve tore up the hell
The old man jumped and he bit his tongue
then he ran for the hills in a flat out run
He was heard to yell, as he ran o’er the hill/ “if the devil won’t have her, ‘be damned if I will

LINK
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17306

KILLYBURN BRAE: “The Women Are Worse Than The Men”

Read the post in English

Il tema del Diavolo che cerca di portarsi all’inferno il peccatore, è un classico dei racconti popolari di area celtica. Nella ballata “Devil and the Farmer’s wife” risalente al 1600 è la donna, per il suo comportamento bisbetico e irrispettoso, a meritarsi l’inferno; ma lo stesso diavolo non riesce a domarla, anzi rischia di perdere la sua tranquillità.

LITTLE DEVILS

La ballata ha avuto una grande diffusione in Inghilterra, Irlanda, Scozia e America con versioni testuali abbastanza simili seppure con melodie declinate in modo diverso.
THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN (english version)
Lilli burlero
THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE (american version)
KILLYBURN BRAE (Irish version)
KELLYBURN BRAES (Scottish version)

VERSIONE IRLANDESE: KILLYBURN BRAE

La canzone è conosciuta anche con il titolo “The Women Are Worse Than The Men” già registrata da Tommy Mackem in “From The Archives“, ma le colline del titolo non esistono in Irlanda essendo il nome una storpiatura del titolo scozzese. Le colline di Kellyburn sono delle montagnole in Scozia che separano la parte settentrionale dell’Ayrshire da Renfrew.

The Dubliners in A Parcel of Rouges 1976

Tommy Makem

The Irish Rovers in “The Boys Come Rollin’ Home”.


There was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
riful riful tidifol-dey
there was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
had a curse of the wife
for the most of his days(1)
with me foldadle-dah diddyfol-dah
foldadle-dal-da-daldadle-day
One day as this man
he walked out in the glen
well he met the devil
says how are you
The devil he says
” I have come for your wife
for I hear she’s the curse
and the bane of your life”
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back(2)
and away off to hell
with her he did whack
And when at last
they came to hell’s gate
well she lifted her stick
and she battered his pate
There were two little devils(3)
there tied up in chains
she lifted her stick
and she scattered their brains
There were two other devils
there roaring like bulls
well she lifted her stick
and she battered their skulls
There were two other devils
there playing at ball
well she lifted her stick
and she battered them all
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back
they were seven years(5) coming
and days going back
And when they came back
to Killieburn Brae
well the devil he cried
and shouted hooray
Says he “my good man
here’s your wife safe and well
for the likes of herself
we would not have been hell”
Which proves that the women
are worse than the men
when they go to the hell
they’re thrown out again
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
C’era un vecchietto
a Killieburn Brae
riful riful tidifol-dey
C’era un vecchietto 
a Killieburn Brae
e aveva una moglie
che era la rovina della sua vita;
with me foldadle-dah diddyfol-dah
foldadle-dal-da-daldadle-day
Un giorno mentre
camminava nella valle
incontrò il diavolo 
e lo salutò.
Il diavolo dice
Sono venuto per tua moglie,
ho sentito che lei è la maledizione
e la tua rovina

Così il diavolo
se la mise sulla schiena
e andò via all’inferno
per picchiarla.
Ma quando infine 
giunsero alle porte dell’inferno
lei alzò il bastone
e glielo sbattè sulla testa.
C’erano due diavoletti
che erano legati in catene,
così lei alzò il bastone
e spappolò loro il cervello.
C’erano altri due diavoli
che muggivano come tori,
beh lei alzò il bastone
e martoriò i loro crani.
C’erano altri due diavoli
che giocavano a palla,
così lei alzò il bastone
e li conciò per le feste.
Allora il diavolo
se la mise sulla schiena
dovevano passare sette anni
e c’era ancora tempo per riportarla indietro.
E quando tornarono
a Killieburn Brae
beh il diavolo gridò
tutto contento “Evviva!”
dice lui “Brav’uomo
qui c’è tua moglie sana e salva,
se fosse dipeso da lei 
non ci sarebbe stato più l’inferno”
Il che dimostra che le donne
sono peggiori degli uomini,
quando vanno all’inferno
sono buttate fuori di nuovo!

NOTE
1) la frase vuole sottolineare il carattere poco remissivo della donna!
2) l’immagine è supportata da una vasta iconografia risalente al medioevo di donne a cavalcioni del diavolo
3) l’immagine dei diavoletti letteralmente massacrati dalla donna è molto buffa, purtroppo la realtà domestica era ben diversa e in genere erano le donne a subire maltrattamenti e violenze.
4) il gioco con la palla è un luogo comune delle ballate classiche a cui non sfugge nemmeno l’inferno
5) presumibilmente  il vecchio durante l’ennesimo litigio con la moglie ha invocato il diavolo perchè se la portasse all’inferno; i due devono aver stipulato un patto della durata di sette anni.

Jack O’Lantern in gonnella

Read the post in English

Il tema del Diavolo che cerca di portarsi all’inferno il peccatore è un classico dei racconti popolari di area celtica, reso esemplare nella storia di Jack O’Lantern: la notte di Halloween il Diavolo cammina sulla terra per reclamare le anime degli uomini, ma Stingy Jack riesce ad ingannarlo con dei trucchetti; e per ben due anni di seguito! Così il Diavolo, per non continuare a fare brutte figure, rinuncia all’anima di Jack per altri dieci anni. Quando Jack muore per i troppi vizi sia le porte del Paradiso che quelle dell’inferno sono sbarrate per lui; costretto a vagare nell’oscurità, riceve in dono dal Diavolo un tizzone per illuminare il suo cammino; da allora Jack continua a vagare per il Limbo in cerca di una dimora che non troverà mai, con la sua lanterna a forma di zucca (che in origine, prima che la storia sbarcasse in America, era una rapa vedi HOP TU NAA – Isola di Man).

Devil and the Farmer’s wife

Nella ballata “Devil and the Farmer’s wife” (nota anche con il titolo Little Devils- Jean Ritchie) risalente al 1600 è la donna, per il suo comportamento bisbetico e irrispettoso, a meritarsi l’inferno; ma il diavolo stesso non riesce a domarla, anzi rischia di perdere la sua tranquillità. La similitudine tra le due storie ricorre in una delle versioni ottocentesche (Macmath Manuscript 1862 vedi) in cui il diavolo dice riferendosi alla donna:”O what to do with her I canna weel tell; she’s no fit for heaven, and she’ll no bide in hell!” (in italiano: che fare di lei non so: non è adatta al Paradiso e non sopporta l’Inferno) proprio come Jack che ha trovato chiuse sia la Porta del Paradiso che quella dell’Inferno.
La ballata con tutta probabilità è ancora più antica e alcuni studiosi la ricollegano ai Racconti di Canterbury di Chaucer (Waltz e Engle).

LITTLE DEVILS

La ballata ha avuto una grande diffusione in Inghilterra, Irlanda, Scozia e America con versioni testuali abbastanza simili seppure con melodie declinate in modo diverso.
THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN (english version)
Lilli burlero
THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE (american version)
KILLYBURN BRAE (Irish version)
KELLYBURN BRAES (Scottish version)

VERSIONE INGLESE: THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN

La ballata compare in stampa a Londra nel 1630 con il titolo “The Devill and the Scold” (in italiano “Il Diavolo e la Bisbetica”) abbinata alla melodia “The Seminary Priestvedi
Nelle note in accompagnamento al testo si riporta: Di questa ballata esistono due edizioni, la prima nella collezione Roxburghe. La seconda nella collezione Rawlinson, No. 169, pubblicata da Coles – un’edizione commerciale, del regno di Carlo II. Payne Collier include “The Devil and the Scold” nel suo volume delle Eoxburghe Ballads, e dice: “Questa è certamente una ballata antica: il riferimento nella seconda stanza,a Tom Thumb e a Robin Goodfellow è assai curioso, e una prova della sua vetustà..”

La ballata è spesso stampata in broadside per tutto il settecento e l’ottocento e collezionata in due varianti testuali in “The English And Scottish Popular Ballads” (1882-1898) di Francis James Child al numero 278 con il titolo di “The Farmer’s Curst Wife“.

Il brano è stato raccolto nel 1903 da Henry Burstow, Sussex e pubblicato in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs di Ralph Vaughan Williams e A.L. Lloyd (1959). Molto simile alla versione testuale riportata da James Henry Dixon in “Ancient Poems, Ballads and Song” (1846) (Child #278 versione A vedi).
Così scrive A.L. Lloyd nel 1960 nelle note di copertina di “A Selection from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs”, riprendendo per altro le note riportate dallo stesso Child: la storia della moglie scaltra che terrorizza anche i demoni è antica e diffusa. Gli indù ce l’hanno in una raccolta di favole del sesto secolo, il Panchatantra. Sembra che abbia viaggiato verso ovest dalla Persia e si sia diffuso in quasi tutti i paesi europei. Nelle prime versioni, il contadino fa un patto con sua moglie in cambio di un paio di buoi. Vaughan Williams ha ottenuto la ballata attuale dal calzolaio e suonatore di campane Horsham, Henry Burstow. Mr Burstow ha fischiettato i ritornelli che nella nostra esibizione sono suonati dalla concertina. Il fischio era un modo familiare di richiamare il diavolo (quindi i marinai che fischiano possono far sollevare una tempesta). (tradotto da qui)
La moglie bisbetica viene riportata indietro al marito che aveva creduto di essere riuscito a prendersi beffe del diavolo! Visto l’argomento è tra le ballate più gettonate nelle feste medievali e nei raduni pirateschi!

Kellyburn Braes
da Kellyburn Braes, di Sorche Nic Leodhas, illustrato da Evaline Ness, 1968

A.L. Lloyd

Kim Lowings & The Greenwood in This Life, 2012 l’album d’esordio.


There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell/ And he’d a bad wife as many knew well(1)
To me fal-de-ral little law-day.(2)
The Devil he came to the old man at plough,
Saying. ‘One of your family I must have now.
‘Now it isn’t for you nor yet for your son,
But that scolding old wife as you’ve got at home.’
Oh take her, oh take her with all of my heart,/ And I wish she and you may never more part.’
So the devil he took the old wife on his back(3),
And lugged her along like a pedlar’s pack./
He trudged along till he reached his front gate,
Says: ‘Here, take in an old   Sussex chap’s mate.
There was thirteen imps(4) all dancing in chains;
She up with her pattens and beat out their brains.
Two more little devils jumped over the wall,
Saying: ‘Turn her out, father, she’ll murder us all.’
So he bundled her up on his back again,/ And to her old husband he took her again.
I’ve been a tormentor the whole of my life,
But I was never tormented till I met your wife.’
And now to conclude and make an end,/ You see that the women is worse than the men,
If they got sent to Hell, they get kicked back again (5)
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
C’era un vecchio contadino nel Sussex e aveva una pessima moglie, come tutti sanno,
To me fal-de-ral little law-day.
il diavolo venne dal vecchio mentre arava
dicendo ” Adesso mi prendo uno della famiglia!
Non sono qui per te e nemmeno per tuo figlio,
ma per quella vecchia moglie che hai a casa
Oh te la cedo con tutto il cuore
e ti auguro che non possa più separartene
Così il Diavolo prese la vecchia moglie sulla schiena e la trascinò via come un pacco postale.
La trascinò fino alla porta dell’inferno dicendo:
Ecco, prendetevi una vecchia moglie del Sussex
C’erano tredici diavoletti che ballavano in catene
e lei con i suoi zoccoli massacrava i loro crani.
Due diavoletti saltarono il muro dicendo
Riportala indietro padre, o ci ucciderà tutti
Così il Diavolo la riprese sulla sua schiena
e la riportò dal vecchio marito:
Sono stato un tormentatore per tutta la mia vita,
ma non sono mai stato tormentato,
fino a quando ho incontrato tua moglie!!”
E per concludere e arrivare alla fine,
vedete come le donne sono peggio degli uomini,
se le mandate all’inferno, ritornano subito indietro!!

NOTE
1) la frase vuole sottolineare il carattere poco remissivo della donna!
2) Fischiettare era un modo per evocare il diavolo!
3) l’immagine è supportata da una vasta iconografia risalente al medioevo di donne a cavalcioni del diavolo
4) l’immagine dei diavoletti letteralmente massacrati dalla donna è molto buffa, purtroppo la realtà domestica era ben diversa e in genere erano le donne a subire maltrattamenti e violenze.
5) Kim modifica il finale a favore della donna 

And now to conclude and make an end
you see that us women are strong
even when we get sent to hell,
we come  straight back again
E per concludere e arrivare alla fine,
vedete come noi donne siamo forti
anche quando veniamo mandate all’inferno,
ritorniamo subito indietro!!

VERSIONE AMERICANA: THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE

Anche qui ci troviamo in una pressochè identica versione testuale declinata però con melodie bluegrass. Il finale è molto spassoso e spesso senza il predicozzo moralizzante: il vecchio contadino nel vedere ritornare la moglie, respinta nientemeno che dal diavolo stesso, decide di mettersi a correre e non ritornare più a casa!

Heather Dale in Perpetual Gift 2012.

Jean Ritchie, British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 2

TRADIZIONALE MONTI APPALACHI (versione semplificata)


Well there was an old man living up on the hill/ If he ain’t moved on, he’s a livin’ there still
CHORUS
Hi diddle ai diddle hi fi, diddle ai diddle ai day

Now the Devil he came to him one day
said “One of your kin I’m gonna take away“/ He said “Oh please don’t take my only son/ There’s work on the farm that’s gotta be done.
Oh but you can have my nagging wife
I swear by God, she’s the curse of my life”
So they marched on down to the gates of hell/ He Said “Kick on the fire boys, we’ll roast her well”
Out came a little devil with a spit and chain
that she upped with her foot and knocked out his brain
Out came a dozen demons then a dozen more
But when she was done they was flat on the floor
So all those little demons went scrambling up the wall
saying “tale her back, daddy, she’ll murder us all
So the Farmer woke up and he looked out the crack (1)/ and he saw that devil bringing her back!
He said:”Here’s your wife both sound and well/ if I kept her any longer she’d’ve tore up the hell
The old man jumped and he bit his tongue
then he ran for the hills in a flat out run
He was heard to yell, as he ran o’er the hill/ “if the devil won’t have her, ‘be damned if I will
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
C’era un vecchio che viveva sulla collina
e se non si è mosso ci vive ancora.
CORO 
Hi diddle ai diddle hi fi, diddle ai diddle ai day

Il diavolo andò da lui un giorno dicendo ” Adesso mi prendo uno della famiglia! “Oh per favore non prendere il mio unico figlio c’è (parecchio) lavoro nella fattoria che  deve essere fatto,
ma prenditi la mia moglie bisbetica, che giuro su Dio è la mia maledizione!!”
Così marciarono alla porta dell’inferno e il Diavolo disse “Sotto con il fuoco, ragazzi, che faremo un bell’arrosto!
Si è fatto avanti un diavoletto con uno spiedo e la catena
e lei lo ha pestato con i piedi e gli ha massacrato il cranio.
Si sono fatti avanti una dozzina di demoni e poi un’altra dozzina
ma quando lei ebbe finito erano tutti spalmati a terra!
Così i diavoletti si arrampicarono sul muro
dicendo “Riportala indietro padre, o ci ucciderà tutti”.
Così il contadino si svegliò e guardò attraverso  la crepa e vide il diavolo che la riportava indietro
dicendo: “Ecco tua moglie sana e salva, se l’avessi tenuta ancora, mi avrebbe distrutto l’inferno!”
Il vecchio fece un sobbalzo e si morse la lingua,
poi corse verso la collina a tutto gas. L’hanno sentito urlare mentre correva “Se il diavolo non la vuole, che sia dannato se me la prenderò io!”

NOTE
1) ci immaginiamo che si sia spalancata una fenditura nel terreno e che ne sia scaturito il diavolo con la donna

FONTI
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=ChildRef_278
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/23/wife.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50974
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19182
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=151087
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17306
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/thedevilandtheploughman.html
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/C278.html