“The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (IRTunneyFamily01)
Keywords: curse farming humorous animal youth Devil
Found in: Ireland

Description

A woman wishes the Devil take a piglet digging her potatoes and a boy stealing her piglet. He refuses because "it was only her lips that have said it." When she wishes the Devil take the bailiff , he does: "Twas straight from her heart that came surely"

Long description

The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn discuss business. Nearby a woman wishes the Devil take a piglet digging among her potatos but the Devil won't take it because "it was only her lips that have said it, and that's not sufficient for me." Then a boy runs off with the piglet and she wishes the Devil might take him, but the Devil doesn't because "it was only her lips that have said it, and that's not sufficient for me." When she sees the bailiff and wishes the Devil take him, it's done: says the Devil, "Twas straight from her heart that came surely"

Notes

Tunney-StoneFiddle: "Even his [Uncle Mick's] songs of the Land War [roughly 1879-1885] and landlordism, with all its attendant evils, had a spark of humour in them. For example, listen to this little ditty describing the love and affection in which bailiffs were held in those stirring days." - BS

For background on the Land War, see e.g. "The Bold Tenant Farmer." - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Tunney-StoneFiddle, p. 95, "The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn" (1 text)
  2. Roud #5294
  3. BI, TSF095