The Farmer's Curst Wife

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Melody - Child Ballad #278; Seq. by Lesley Nelson
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A farmer was ploughing his field one day,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
A farmer was ploughing his field one day
When the devil came up, and to him did say,
Refrain:
With a riteful la, titty fie day,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day.

2. See here, my good man, I have come for your wife,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
See here, my good man I have come for your wife,
For she's the bane and torment of your life,
Refrain:

3. So the Devil he hoisted her up on his hump,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
So the Devil he hoisted her up on his hump,
And down to Hell with her he did jump,
Refrain: 4. When they got there the gates they were shut,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
When they got there the gates they were shut,
With a blow of her hand she laid open his nut,
Refrain:

5. Two little devils were playing handball,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
Two little devils were playing handball,
Take her back Daddy, she'll be the death of us all!
Refrain:

6. So the Devil he hoisted her up on his hump,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
So the Devil he hoisted her up on his hump,
And back to earth with her he did jump,
Refrain:

7. See here, my good man, I have come with your wife,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
See here, my good man, I have come with your wife,
For she's the bane and torment of my life.
Refrain:

8. Now they say that the women are worse than the men,
Riteful, riteful, titty fie day,
They say that the women are worse than the men,
They went down to Hell and got kicked out again.
Refrain:


This ballad has its roots in England as far back as 1630. This is the Americanized version which leaves out some of the more gruesome details of the English 1846 version (Dixon's Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs (1846)).

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