Mudcat Café message #3526092 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151087   Message #3526092
Posted By: Richie
13-Jun-13 - 03:05 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 6
TY Mick,

I'm trying to establish the "whole" story of "Farmer's Curst" by exploring older British versions.

Many of the US versions start out with the farmer and his hogs, Flanders P:

Oh, the old man hitched up his hogs to plow,
Fal dal-diddle i-dy-o.
'Twas this way and that way, the devil knows how,
To my rang-rang fal-diddle i-dy-o.

Seems to me the reason he's plowing with hogs is: the Devil came and took away his oxen, then came for his wife. There's only one US version that explains this-- Gardner E (see above).

The first part of the ballad seems to be missing- I'm exploring versions to find possible answers.