Jon picked this up “From Folk Songs Of The English Speaking Nations. I did this briefly with John and then with Eliza and the Ratcatchers. Fay’s now doing a great version with Sam and Rob.”
Also known as The Pesky Sarpant (or Serpent) and possibly based in part on a true tale of death by snakebite of Timothy Myrick on August 7th 1761, although I’m sure there is more than one case that this could be based on. There do seem to be at least two styles to this song, with one simply and seriously recounting his death and burial and the other adding the girl with the rotten tooth who also succumbs. I must say I’m surprised to see this latter version described as comic with its double death by poison, although I guess by folk song standards… Anyway, Mudcat has a decent thread on this, with some variations and history. I’ll agree with Jon that Fay’s version is great having seen here again a week or so ago in East Dulwich, but then I like this too.