Devilish Mary [Laws Q4]

DESCRIPTION: The singer meets a "pretty little girl" named Mary; they get married within days. She then starts taking over his life, wearing his pants, and abuses and torments him. At last he leaves. He vows to court only tall/short girls who can't wear his breeches
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1897
KEYWORDS: courting marriage cross-dressing abuse shrewishness
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (17 citations):
Laws Q4, "Devilish Mary"
Randolph 437, "Devilish Mary" (4 texts, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 331-333, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 331)
BrownSchinhanIV 326, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #76, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boswell/Wolfe 17, pp. 31-32, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, p. 121, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 136-138, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 93, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCoxIIA, #13A-C, pp. 57-60, "The Wife Wrapped in Wether's Skin," "Dandoo" (3 texts, 1 tune, but the "B" text omits the beating typical of Child #277 and has the husband run away; it appears to have mixed with this song or something like it)
SharpAp 149, "Devilish Mary" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Chase, pp. 154-155, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 721, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 70, "Devilish Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 145-149, "Devilish Mary" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 191, "Devilish Mary" (1 text)
DT 518, DEVLMARY*

Roud #1017
RECORDINGS:
Bob Atcher, "Devilish Mary" (Columbia 20483, 1948)
Horton Barker, "Devilish Mary" (on Barker01)
Bill Boyd & his Cowboy Ramblers, "Devilish Mary" (Bluebird B-7299, 1937; Montgomery Ward M-8417, 1940)
Glenn Neaves & band, "Devilish Mary" (on GraysonCarroll1)
Lee O'Daniel Hillbilly Boys, "Devlish Mary" (Vocalion 04102, 1938; rec. 1937)
Paul Rogers, "Devilish Mary" (AFS; on LC14)
Pete Seeger, "Devilish Mary" (on PeteSeeger02, PeteSeegerCD01)
Roba Stanley, "Develish Mary" (OKeh 40213, 1924)
Arthur Tanner, "Devlish Mary" (Silvertone 3514, 1926)
Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, "Develish Mary" (Columbia 15589-D [as "Devlish Mary"], 1930; Columbia 15709-D, c. 1932; rec. 1928; on CrowTold02, GTanner01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Yankee Doodle" (tune)
cf. "The Wearing of the Britches" (subject, lyrics)
cf. "I Am an Old Bachelor (The Sorrow of Marriage)" (theme: wife dominating husband)
cf. "Old Carathee" (theme)
cf. "There's Bound to be a Row" (theme)
cf. "I'll Rise When the Rooster Crows" (floating lyrics)
NOTES: Cohen notes that "Laws... lists this as a ballad, but just as often it is performed as a fiddle or banjo tune with occasional lyrics." Cohen also notes that Laws's claim of a British Isles origin is unsubstantiated. The collection data confirm this, and the style is, in my opinion, very un-British. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.7
File: LQ04

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