The Artist: Multi-talented folk artist David Poe
The Song: “The Devil” from God & The Girl, out August 19.
Fun Fact: David Poe is a composer fellow of the Sundance Institute and has scored seven films.
Songwriter Says: “‘The Devil’ was born in a lush garden in Los Angeles that was full of prehistoric plants. A garter snake would appear to me sometimes, darting between flowers, but I never heard it speak.
The proverbial deal with the devil represents the choices we all make, or are tempted to make. For instance, I was once signed to a major label.
This lyric is a twist on the folkloric trope of striking a deal with Old Scratch. In it, the narrator’s soul is consumed by a romantic passion that precludes all else, even a love for God. So this guy can’t be bought because he’s already sold out — his soul is a lemon, from the devil’s perspective.
They say the devil has all the good songs. This was recorded on a good microphone, one also used by BB King, Robert Plant and Gregg Allman.
Some folks take things very literally and have been offended by this song, and I really am sorry about that. But as a storytelling conceit, the devil as a personification of darkness and temptation has appeared in everything from Shakespeare to Steinbeck to True Detective and is a longstanding part of songwriting tradition in gospel, hymns, folk, blues and rock & roll, formerly known to some as “the devil’s music.”