Devil Went Down to Georgia by Hailey Hoffman

Students wrote stories based on some of their favorite songs. These are their stories…

The Devil Went Down to Georgia – Primus

“The devil went down to Georgia he was lookin’ for a soul to steal
He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
And he was willing to make a dealWhen he came across this young man
Sawing on a fiddle and playing it hot
And the devil jumped up on a hickory stumpAnd said, “boy let me tell you what I guess you didn’t know it but I’m a fiddle player too
And if you’d care to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you””Now you play pretty good fiddle, son but give the devil his due
I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul I think I’m better than you”The boy said, “my name’s Johnny
And it might be a sin but I’ll take your bet and you’re gonna regret
I’m the best that’s ever been”Johnny you resin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
‘Cause hell’s broke loose in Georgia and the devil deals the cardsAnd if you win, you get this shiny fiddle made of gold
But if you lose, the devil gets your soulThe devil opened up his case and he said, “I’ll start this show”
And fire flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bowHe dragged the bow across the strings and it made an evil hiss
The band of demons joined in and it sounded something like thisWhen the devil finished johnny said “well you’re pretty good, old son
But sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it’s done”Fire on the mountain, run boys run
The devil’s in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bread pan pickin’ out dough
Granny does your dog bite, no child noThe devil bowed his head ’cause he knew that he’d been beat
And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at johnny’s feetJohnny said, “devil, just come on back if you ever want to try again
I told you once, you son of a bitch I’m the best that’s ever been”He played, fire on the mountain, run boys run
The devil’s in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bread pan pickin’ out dough
Granny does your dog bite, no child no”

The music shook my bones to the core. It would be hard to beat. His red hands, disguised in a human skin, moved swiftly, bow in hand, strings vibrating with intensity. The Devil came down to Georgia, looking for a soul to steal and by the looks of it, that soul would be mine. 

Voices echoed off the fields surrounding us. Singing lyrics to the soul in his notes bouncing off the fiddle in his hands. Its beautiful and mesmerizing golden outside shined in the glistening moonlight, blinding me when staring for too long. His song continued as the voices become louder. Shadows danced above his head in the dark night sky.

“The devil gets your soul Johnny.” they chanted in the distance. “Not a living thing has ever beaten our Lucifer.” they laughed moving with the beat of the notes.

The devil’s mouth twisted into a sinister smile at the comments of his followers, as his hand continued to play notes that if I didn’t know were coming from Satan himself, would be ones described as “from Heaven.” How could something so beautiful come from someone so hideous? 

“You know little Johnny.” He spoke as he played, staring into my eyes and melting my insides with his glare. “When God sent me to rule a place of sinners, to own my own world underneath the core of your homes, I found that an eternity of fire could really get pretty boring to a man.” I raised my eyebrows at him, curious as to where he was going with this, surprised he was still able to play so beautifully even while telling a story.

“So I picked up a few hobbies, like any other ruler of Hell would of course.” He snickered under his breath at his own joke. The most evil thing a person could do. “I tried starting a football team with some of the other sinners, but all they did was scream and cry. I guess a field of fire is no place for man, so I decided that really there was nothing I could. If everyone was meant to be miserable, what am I to do with myself when I am tired of playing torture?” he closed his eyes for a moment and felt the strings of the fiddle, still playing his song I was meant to beat.

“I decided if I wanted to really entertain myself I would have to do it on my own. I found that music is absolutely fascinating. I tried many different instruments. Guitar, Saxophone, Drums. Do you have any idea how hard it is to play the flute? Definitely worse than being in Hell for eternity.” He continued to swiftly slide his bow across the fiddle in a neverending movement. 

“So I picked up a fiddle.” His music intensified as he explained his journey to become the player standing in front of me now. “Do you know how long I’ve been doing this Johnny boy?” His fiddle screamed with gorgeous notes. “Longer than you’ve been alive boy. Longer than your momma has been alive and the many mommas before her.” He moved his arm quickly, I could feel the notes bursting my eardrums with joy. Any musician with a brain new there was no possible way I would win this. He knew tricks that weren’t even made up yet. He used some of the best playing in the book. He was absolutely glorious. His song was coming to an end. 

I reached for the case folding my fiddle. Old and worn from practicing day and night. I thought of the notes I would play carefully. I couldn’t mess this up.

“Dun dun.” The final notes of his song had been played. 

It was my turn. 

“Just because your song is long, does not mean it is more beautiful.” I stomped my feet into the dirt and placed my chin under my fiddle. 

Exhaling hard in order to calm my nerves, I rested my head on the bottom, where my chin had rested time and time again. I looked at him, his golden fiddle rested at his side and a deep glare staring into my soul. One he soon could own. 

“Why did I make a deal with the devil?” 

I rested my bow on the strings and strummed my first chord. I didn’t play a pre rehearsed song. I didn’t play notes I had already learned. I just felt the music. It burst through my strings delightfully, sending waves of beautiful notes that even made the demon wheap. They swayed above Satan, their lyrics now for me. 

Lyrics telling the story of the deal made between the Devil and I.

“Fire on the mountain, run boys run

The devil’s in the house of the rising sun

Chicken in the bread pan pickin’ out dough

Granny does your dog bite, no child no”

Satan waved his arms in the sky, casting away his evil minions. Satan told stories and played, why couldn’t I sing and play? The lyrics from my vocal chords as my bow swayed across the old fiddle strings. My song had ended with that. The notes echoed off in the distance, bouncing back, and ringing in Satan’s ears.

“My demons have spoken.” His glance fell to the ground below his feet. “Ol’ Johnny boy, you’ve beaten the Devil.”

I dropped to my knees as he grabbed his pure gold fiddle in both hands and walked towards me, bestowing it upon me right there on that little backroad in Georgia. I grabbed it from him gently, feeling some sort of power over the unholiest being to ever live. 

The ground beneath our feet began to shake, as a hole formed in the Earth between us, separating our hands and leaving the golden fiddle in mine. Without a word, Satan jumped into the hole, straight below our core, and back to where he belonged. 


I held the fiddle and as I walked away from the healing crack in the ground I thought to myself the lesson I learned through all of this. “Damn solid gold fiddles are heavy.”

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