Devil’s Nine Questions, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Devil’s Nine Questions, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 844003.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 20.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): 3.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Susan Auerbach.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 1982.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

‘What’s that on your back? What’s that in your sack?’
Said the false knight to the child on the road.
‘I’ve my books on me back, and my lunch in me sack!’
Said the child of seven years old.


‘What’s higher than a tree? What’s deeper than the sea?’
Said the false knight to the child on the road.
‘Heaven is higher than a tree, Hell is deeper than the sea!’
Said the maid of seven years old.



This tantalizing fragment occurs in the context of a private lesson, where the focus appears to be on the lilted segments, rather than on the song itself.