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Now there was an old farmer lived over the hill
And a poor old fellow they say
He was plagued by hunger and a scolding wife
The worst misfortune that day

And as he cut wood in the forest one day
Between dark doom and despair
The devil himself, he jumped out of the bush
And he stood before him there

Lyrics continue below...

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"O, what's the matter?" the devil he cried
"You look so discontent
Haven't you got any money to buy your food
Or to pay your landlord rent?

"What would you give me?" the devil he cried
"If I should end your debate
And I gave you money and gear enough
So you'd never more want for meat"

"But I've nothing to give you," the old man cried
"I've nothing right here to my hand
But if you would do what you say for me
I'll be at your command."

"Right then I'll make you a bargain," the devil he cried
"It's a bargain you just couldn't miss:
You bring me a beast at seven years' end
I'll try to say what it is

"But if that beast I name aright
(You mark what I do tell)
You've got to toddle along with me
For to view the ovens of Hell."

So the old man prospered and prospered well
It was all gained and spent
Till he come to the end of seven long years
Sorely he did lament

"Oh, what is the matter?" his wife she cried
"You look so discontent
Sure you've got some silly young girl with child
Making you sore lament"

"No, I've made a bargain with the devil," he cried
"It was a bargain I just couldn't miss:
I've got to bring him a beast at seven years' end
He's got to say what it is

"But if that beast he names aright
(You mark what I do tell)
I've got to toddle along with him
For to view the ovens of Hell."

"Oh, never you worry," his wife, she cries
"For your cattle, your keep, or your feed
For the wit of a woman, it comes in handy
At times in an hour of need

"Go and fetch me the droppings from all of our chickens
And spread them all over the floor
Stark naked I will strip myself
And I'll roll in it all over and o'er

"And fetch me the basket of feathers," she cries
"Of the beast we had for our tea
And I'll roll and I'll roll all over in them
Until never an inch be free"

So she rolled and she rolled in feathers and droppings
From her head down to her navel
"By Christ", he says, "what an horrible sight
You look far worse than the devil."

Then the devil himself come in
He began to for steam and to hiss
"By Christ," he said, "What an awful sight
I'm damned if I know what it is."

He started to shake and he started to quake
Saying, "Have you any more of these at home?"
"Yes," he cries, "I've got seven more
That in my forest do roam."

"If you've got seven more of these beasts
That in your forest do dwell
I'll be as good as my bargain and I'm off home
For she's worse than the demons in Hell."

Writer(s): traditional

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