Plumb and Level, The
DESCRIPTION: "When Adam ruled the world" he and Eve "formed a bower to shade them from the weather's evil." "They lived in social harmony till madam longed for fruit ... And the bit she went out one morning for to meet the deevil"
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (GreigDuncan3)
KEYWORDS: Bible Devil food
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan3 472, "The Plumb and Level" (1 fragment)
Bodleian, 2806 c.13(205), "The Tower of Babel" ("When Adam ruled the world by an order from the Grand"), unknown, no date
cf. "The Building of Solomon's Temple" [Laws Q39] (theme: Building the First Temple)
cf. "The Rules of Masonry" (theme: Building the First Temple)
Adam and Eve
NOTES [385 words]: Apparently Broadside Bodleian, 2806 c.13(205), "The Tower of Babel" ... is this song but I could not download and verify it. On the small image of the broadside that is visible, the broadside has at least eight verses compared to GreigDuncan's 2 verses. The lines I can make out for verses one and two seem very close to GreigDuncan3. - BS
I was able to download it, but large portions of the scan are unreadable. It lists as a tune "The old Orange [something]" (not "flute." "Order," perhaps?). The first verse tells the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, as described above; this tale is in Genesis 3 (though it never says Eve met the Devil; she met the Serpent).
Greig's decision to file this with the Masonic songs seems justified, since it refers to the "plumb gauge and level."
The next few verses refer to Noah building an ark with square gauge and level, and to forty days of rain. The tale of the flood occupies Genesis 6-8, with the "forty days" being mentioned e.g. in Genesis 7:4.
The next verse, which is probably about the Tower of Babel, has been obliterated. The story of the Tower is in Genesis 11.
Then we come to Solomon. This song, like "The Building of Solomon's Temple" [Laws Q39] and "The Rules of Masonry," hints at Solomon being a mason. But the building of the Temple is described in chapters 5-8 of 1 Kings (and 2 Chronicles chapters 2-6 with a foreshadowing in 1 Chron. 28-29). But it clearly was not built by masons; it was probably designed by Phoenicians (note that this song mentions "Hiram King of Tyre," the leading Phoenician monarch), and certainly constructed by slaves.
The final verse refers to "The widow's murdered son" who "masonic power displayed." I *think* this is a reference to Jesus, who of course was considered to have been murdered. Legend, based on the fact that the gospels mention Mary but not Joseph during Jesus's adult ministry, has it that Mary outlived Joseph, making her a widow. As for Jesus showing Masonic power, John 2:19 has Jesus say, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (with verse 2:21 explaining that "he was speaking of the temple of his body"); in Mark 14:58 and parallels we read that Jesus was charged with saying "I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days build another not made with hands." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.4
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.