lyrics text

Devilswater

words W W Gibson, additional words Ridley; tune Ridley

Up the hill and over the hill
Down the valley by Dipton Mill
Down the valley to Devilswater
Rode the parson's seventh daughter

Her heart was light, her eyes were wild
Seventh child of a seventh child
Down the valley to Devilswater
Rode the parson's black-eyed daughter
She rode in a yellow caravan
By the side of a merry black-eyed man
There on the banks of the Devilswater
He kissed the parson's merry daughter

Up the hill...

High and low the parson sought her
Searching for his wanton daughter
Down in the valley of Devilswater
Sought his seventh black-eyed daughter
He tripped as he trod the bridle track
A bramble tore his coat of black
He stood on the bank and cursed his daughter
"She's been dipped in the Devilswater"

Up the hill...

Her heart was light, her eyes were wild
As kneeling down with her little child
She christened her bairn in the Devilswater
The black-eyed brat of the devil's daughter
Low she laughed as she hugged it tight
Clapped its hands at the golden light
That glanced and danced on the Devilswater
To think she was once a parson's daughter.

Up the hill...

Our theme tune? You could say thatů It began life as a poem by the Hexham-born Georgian poet WW Gibson (1878-1962), referring to the Devil's Water stream that runs through Hexhamshire and meets the Tyne at Dilston. Richard (who was born at Dilston Hall, near the confluence of the two rivers) adapted it and gave it a tune. We first encountered the poem via The Brothers Gillespie, who made their own tune for it.

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