Mudcat Café message #3523672 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151087   Message #3523672
Posted By: Richie
06-Jun-13 - 10:41 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
The Sussex Farmer is basically Child A without the whistles. The stanzas are exactly the same and except for one line and "devil" being substituted for "Satan", they are the same. Perhaps Dixon's version was adapted from this broadside.

THE SUSSEX FARMER- Printed between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London.

There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell,
And he had a bad wife, as many knew well.


The devil came to the old man at the plough,
One of your family I must have now.

It is not your eldest son that I crave,
But it is your old wife, and she I will have.

O, welcome good devil, with all my heart,
I hope you and her will never more part.

Now the devil has got the wife on his back,
And he lugged her along, like a pedlar's pack.

He trudged away till they came to hell door,
And then he kick'd her in for a stinking old fro,

O then she did kick the young devils about,
Says one to the other- Let's try turn her out.

She spied thirteen devils all dancing in chains,
She up with a broom stick and beat out their brains.

She knocked the devil against the wall,
Let's try turn her out, or she'll murder us all.

Now he's bundled her up on his back amain,
And to her old husband he took her again.

I have been a devil the whole of my life,
But I ne'er was tormented so as with your wife.