Track 10 of "Ways that Are Dark" CD
Did You Ever See
the Devil

Play the Song:Download the Plug-in:

Oh, howdy mister Devil
Did you ever see the devil
With his old wooden shovel
And his old gourd head

Click here to read the full Lyrics.

From the chapter, "A Bear Hunt in the Smokies." Hunter Little John changes the conversation from dogs to music. He produces a bottle of "soothing syrup that was too new to have paid tax. . . he cut a pigeon-wing, twirled around with an imaginary banjo, and sang in a quaint minor: "Did you ever see the devil . . . " The only song to be found in the Library of Congress American Folklife Room that could be considered as the same was recorded long ago by Ray Wood of Texas. His recording includes other verses, but not the refrain as sung by Little John. My arrangement of this (possibly an old camp meeting song) is based on Ray Wood's melody and a composite of words from both sources. I questioned the great banjoist Tommy Thompson about the meaning of "going to meeting in an old tin pan," and he answered wryly, "Like hell he will."

The Musicians:
Lead Vocal: Scott Huffman
Chorus Vocals: Mary Miller, Milton Gore
Guitar: Jack Lawrence
Banjo: Carl Jones
Mandolin: Daniel Gore
Fiddle: Rickie Simpkins
String Bass: Robbie Link