Did You Ever See the Divil?
DESCRIPTION: The Devil dug "pritties" in the garden, swatting flies with his tail until "they dragged him back to prison." The Devil, overjoyed when the spuds were blighted and famine killed the people, was put in his place by Saint Patrick.
EARLIEST DATE: c.1939 (Tunney-StoneFiddle)
KEYWORDS: farming starvation Devil
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Tunney-StoneFiddle, p. 69, "Did You Ever See the Divil?" (1 text)
cf. "The Stack of Barley" (tune, according to Tunney-StoneFiddle)
cf. "Over There (I - The Praties They Grow Small)" (subject: the potato famines) and references there
NOTES: For the potato blight, see "Over There (I - The Praties They Grow Small)" and references there. The British policy was largely one of neglect (though this was more due to flawed economic opinions than actual cruelty), but it resulted in many deaths and even more people selling out and going to America. I have no idea why the song thinks the Devil was put in his place; the famines eventually ended, but the effects had been simply horrid. - RBW
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