The Farmer's Cursed Wife

The Farmer's Cursed Wife

The Farmer’s Cursed Wife

Lyrics:

The Farmer’s Cursed Wife – Traditional arrangement Tim O’Brien / No Bad Ham Music / ASCAP

There once was a man who lived by the mill
If he ain’t moved away he’s a livin’ there still singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

The devil he came to his field one day
Said it’s your old lady I’m a gonna take away singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

Oh take her oh take her with all of my heart
I hope to my soul that you’ll never never part singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

He took the old lady all up in a sack
And off to hell they went clickidee dick clack singing
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

He got her on down about a half of the road
He says old lady you’re a devil of a load singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

He got her on down to the gates of hell
Said punch up the fire, gonna scorch her well singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

Nine little devils come a draggin’ a chain
She took it away and she knocked out their brains
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

Ten little devils come a climbin’ a wall
Said take her back daddy she’s a murderin’ us all singin’
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

She found the old man lyin’ late in his bed
She picked up a butter stick and paddled his head singin'
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

Away she went whistlin’ over the hill
If the devil won’t have me I wonder who will singin'
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

That goes to show you what a woman will do
She’ll whoop up the devil and her old man too singin'
Fi-diddle-li diddle-li-di diddle-li diddle-li-day

Credits:

Recorded March 27 2013 at the Butcher Shoppe, Nashville
Engineer David Ferguson
Tim O’Brien – guitar, fiddle, banjo and vocal
Gerry Paul – guitar
Trevor Hutchinson – bass
Chris Scruggs – steel guitar and sock guitar

Song Notes:

I learned this one from an Alan Lomax recording of E.C. Ball of Volney VA, who had a wonderful singing voice and guitar style and who wrote some fine songs as well. My sister Mollie and I recorded his song Father Adieu on our CD Away Out On The Mountain. The song has its roots across the sea and when I play it in Ireland or Britain people often recognize the familiar lyric about the devil’s battle with the farmer’s wife. Whenever I sing this song that day instantly becomes a “fiddle-li diddle-li” day.

I’m backed by my partners in the Two Oceans Trio (check that recording on iTunes) with overdubs by the wonderful Chris Scruggs on steel guitar and “sock” rhythm guitar.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/farmers-cursed-wife-single/id991196802
http://amzn.com/B00X75WXQO

Catalogue Number: 
SOS-09
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by R & T