Mudcat Café message #3241989 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #140911   Message #3241989
Posted By: Richie
20-Oct-11 - 01:08 PM
Thread Name: Child Ballads: US Versions
Subject: RE: Child Ballads: US Versions
I found one of the earliest US published versions- 1907 Barry. It's on;y one verse, but importantly it has other information.

I. "What have you in your bottle, my dear little lad?"
Quo the fol fol Fly on the road,
"I have some milk for myself for to drink!"
Said the child, who was seven years old.

In the article Barry references the "fol, fol fly" or the derivative, "false false fly"; here's what he says:

In this text the words "fol fol Fly" are very likely corrupted from "foul, foul Fiend;" that is, the Devil.