The Farmer's Curst Wife

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The Farmer's Curst Wife is Child ballad number 278. It has been recorded by Pete Seeger, Jean Ritchie, Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, Patrick Sky, Bellowhead, and John Koerner.


A farmer had a bad woman for his wife, and one day the devil came for her. They reached Hell, and the gates were shut, so she struck him. She made life in hell so bad that the devil brought her back to her husband.[1]


  • Patrick Sky, "A Harvest of Gentle Clang" (1966): "The Farmer's Curst Wife" appears as Track 3 on Side 2.


  1. ^ Würzbach, Natascha, and Simone M. Salz. 1995. Motif index of the Child corpus: the English and Scottish popular ballad. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-014290-2. p. 235.

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