Devilish Mary

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Early American Folk Songs : Bob Atcher (1949)
Shivaree! : Oscar Brand (1955)
At The Gate Of Horn : Odetta (1957)
Walt Robertson : Walt Robertson (1959)
Traditional Music from Grayson and Carroll Counties, Virginia: Songs, Tunes with Fiddle, Banjo and Band : Various Artists (Glen Neaves & Grayson County Boys) (1962)
Horton Barker - Traditional Singer : Horton Barker (1962)
Folk and Other Songs : Steve Camacho (1962)
At Town Hall : Odetta (1962)
Red Fox Chasers : Red Fox Chasers (1967)
Skillet Lickers, Vol. 1 : Skillet Lickers (196?)
Introducing The Beers Family : The Beers Family (196?)
Hangin', Drinkin' And Stuff : Art & Paul (196?)
Golden Skein : Beers Family (1972)
No. 3 Special : Highwoods String Band (1978)
Evo's Autoharp : Evo Bluestein (1985)
Tiffany Transcriptions, Vol. 6 : Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys (1987)
Darling Corey/Goofing Off Suite : Pete Seeger (1993)

Performance History

Played by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in San Carlos on June 11th 1962.

Not performed by the Grateful Dead. Occurs only on pre-Dead tapes featuring future members of the dead.


Dates back to at least the 1880s. In some collections it is referred to as a British ballad but no version has ever been 'collected' in the field in Britain.

Full lyrics of the version performed by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers;

When I was young and foolish,
Swore I never would marry,
I met up with a pretty little girl,
Surely we got married.

Along come a-dink come a-dary,
Prettiest girl that ever I saw,
Her name was Devilish Mary.

We both were young and foolish,
She was just (?),
On one word we did agree,
The wedding day was Thursday.


Hadn't been married but about six weeks,
She got as mean as a devil,
Every time I looked cross-eyed,
She hit me in the head with a shovel.


We hadn't been married but about six weeks,
We decided to be parted,
She packed up all her (duds?),
And down the road she started.


Fill my back with old soap suds,
Fill my back with stitches,
Next I would marry a girl,
She can wear the britches.


If I ever marry another girl,
It'll be for love not riches,
Marry a little girl about four feet high,
So she can wear my britches.