This guy’s explanation of the tune is the sweeter version of the tale, but not the original:
In the oldest extant version of this ballad (circa 1600-1650), an elf threatens to abduct a young woman to be his lover unless she can perform an impossible task; she responds with a list of tasks which he must first perform, thus evading rape.*
I don’t think even Gaga would touch that one.
* That last sentence sounds like the plot synopsis to the most horrible episode of According To Jim ever.