It is one of life's great rewards to meet and work with people you have long admired. Bob Coltman is one of many people to whom Ed Trickett introduced us in the winter of 1980, and we long have marveled at his music and creativity. This song, a rewrite of Child #1, "Riddles Wisely Expounded," or"The Devil's Nine Questions," is from Bob's great album of such rewrites, Son of Child (Minstrel JD-205). Bob says he sees it "set in a moonlit garden of some decaying southern mansion, the Devil in the shape of a portly senator and the wise virgin a sassy flapper out for a breath of air." Professor Child may be in orbit over this, but it sure is fun to sing.
Pretty little girl evil dressed in white,
Weave, wove, and woven,
Walking in the garden alone at night,
Walking in the garden without any light,
Hee-ho, Devil in the garden,
Devil in the garden a-rovin'.
Out in the garden she met a man walking.
"Looky-here, girl, do you know who I am?"
"Looky-here, girl, you gotta play my game:
"What is lost and can never be found?
"Days are lost and can never be found.
"What are the strings that can never be tied?
"Man's heartstrings can never be tied.
"What is bluer than the sky so blue?
"Bluer is the blue (water) in Duncan's well.
"Fare you well, then, human girl.