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This guy’s explanation of the tune is the sweeter version of the tale, but not the original:


From Wikipedia:

In the oldest extant version of this ballad (circa 1600-1650), anĀ 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.

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* That last sentence sounds like the plot synopsis to the most horrible episode of According To Jim ever.