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The Devil and the Apple

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Alternative title: The Poor Old Couple

Performer: Cook, George
Place Collected: Stow-on-the-Wold
Date collected: 1927-1935
Roud Number: 491

An oft-collected song, even in recent times, and sometimes found in anthologies of nursery rhymes, despite the theme of marital infidelity. No broadside version of it has been found. Mr Cook’s version is the only one to mention the Devil and to be honest, that doesn’t make sense in the context of the song, so possibly that is due to a mishearing or a misunderstanding on the part of the singer. Other versions have “Town Clerk” rather than “Tom Clark” in verse 1.

Notes by Gwilym Davies