Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet William died for Love

Here is probably one of the most famous Appalachian folk ballads, Bar'bry Allen. Some say it as Bar'bry Ellen. I can't remember a time when I didn't hear someone singing this song, in part or in whole. The song, I've always heard, is hundreds of years old and was brought to America from Scotland. The song retained it's authenticity in the mountains of Appalachia, and was "rediscovered" in the early 1900's.

Bar'bry Allen

Twas in the merry month of May
When all greenbuds was swellin'
Sweet William on his death bed lay
For love of Barbry Allen

He sent his servant to the town
To the place where she was a dwellin'
Said my master's sick and he sends for you
If your name be Barbry Allen

Slowly, slowly, she got up
And slowly she drew beside him
And the only words she did say to him,
Was young man I think you're a-dyin'

O yes, I'm sick, and very sick
And death on me is dwellin'
And no better will I ever be
If I caint have Barbry Allen

O yes, you're sick and very sick
And death is on you dwellin'
No better will you ever be
For you cain't have Barbry Allen

Don't you remember in yonder town
When we were at the tavern
You drank a health to the ladies fair
But slighted Barbry Allen

O yes, I remember in yonder town
In yonders town a drinking
I gave a health to the ladies fair
But my heart to Barbry Allen

As she was on her highway home
The birds kept on a-singing
A sang so clear, that seemed to say
Hard hearted Barbry Allen

As she was walkin' o'er the field
She heard the death bells a-ringin'
With every stroke they seemed to say
Hard hearted Barbry Allen

She looked to the east and she looked to the west
And she saw his corpse a-comin'
Lay down, lay down, that corpse of clay
That I may look upon him

The more she looked, the more she mourned
Till she busted out a-cryin'
And said pick me up and carry me home
I feel like I'm a-dyin'

O Mother, O Mother, go make my bed
Go make it long and narrow
Sweet William died for pure, pure love
And I shall die for sorrow

O Father, O Father, go dig my grave
Go dig it long and narrow
Sweet William died for me today
I'll die for him tomorrow

They buried him in the ol' church yard
They buried her beside him
And from his heart grew a red, red rose
And from her heart a brier

They grew and grew up the old church tower
'Til they could reach no higher
Then wrapped and twined in a true loves knot
With the rose growed 'round the brier

Here's one of my favorite versions of the song, sung by Emmy Rossum of the "Songcather" movie. Click here to hear it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Snakes and more Snakes.

Today I thought I’d write another post about snakes. I wrote a blog post about snakes a few months ago, click here to read it.

I remember when we lived up Johnson Holler we had to watch whenever we went outside, it was a real snakey place. And they weren’t just any snakes that seemed to be all over the place, they were timber rattlesnakes. Many times, we’d kill some rattlers whenever we’d go out to feed the dog. It is no wonder that place was overrun with snakes, it was right at the foot of North Mountain and it was a very rocky and rough place.

I remember one evening when we were coming home, Dad got a good surprise. You see, right before you entered our place, you had to get out and open a gate that blocked the road. There was an old spring box located near the gate, and since Dad had opened this gate hundreds of times before, he didn’t think anything of it nor was he overly careful in looking around. He just got out of the truck, walked over, grabbed the gate latch, and started to pull open the gate.

About that time, he was startled by the unmistakable singing of a rattlesnake. He instinctively jumped back, and it is a good thing because as he was jumping back, the rattler struck at him. Dad was just far enough away to where it missed him. The rattler then slithered out into the road. All of us kids were screaming, just sure that the giant serpent was gonna eat us all. Dad, a little more calm than the rest of us, ran back to the truck and grabbed out a shovel that he always carried with him. Dad meant to kill the rattler with the shovel, and since he was now armed, he was a little more confident when he went after the big snake. About the time Dad got to the rattler, the rattler rared up to where it was nearly staring Dad right in the eye, and Mom hollered out the truck window, “He’s trying to charm you!” We all knew how a snake will try to charm its quarry by doing a little mesmerizing dance…it will lull someone or some thing into a false sense of security, which will end with a fatal bite.

Well, Dad wasn’t having none of that, so he whomped down on the big rattler with the shovel. As soon as the shovel connected with the snake, there was a loud crack and Dad stood there holding a broken handle of a shovel! The big rattler wasn’t even phased, and it look pissed off! Dad then ran back to the truck and looked around for something else to kill the rattler with, but could find nothing so he ran up on the road bank and grabbed a big tree limb and a few rocks. First, Dad threw the rather large rocks at the rattler, and connected with it with a few of them. The last one hit the snake in the head and knocked it down into the road. Dad then ran up with the tree limb and beat the snake repeatedly in the head until it was dead. It was quite an ordeal. It was such a large snake, we measured it, it was 9 feet long and was 8 inches around. It also had 12 rattlers and a button! It was a monster.

I remember Dad saying it was the granddaddy of them all, and he figured it was the snake that came over on “Noey’s Ark”! Dad said he’d never seen anything like it. It was in late summer and it was quite dry that year, so Dad took the dead snake and laid it over the garden fence. We all knew that if you hung a snake over a garden fence it would rain until you took it off. Sure enough, that night it just poured the rain and continued to do so for the next week or so. Finally, my Grandmaw Mary told my Dad to take that snake off the garden fence because if he didn’t she feared it was going to flood.

People might laugh, but there has to be something to those old tales.

Another story I’ll share is about how one time Grandmaw Mary’s milk cow stopped giving milk. Grandmaw couldn’t figure it out, all of a sudden the cow seemed to dry up. Grandmaw puzzled on it, and come to the conclusion that something had to be milking the cow out, so she started keeping a close eye on the cow. Granny suspected a milk thief. Sure enough, on one of her frequent checks on the cow, she caught the culprit…a big blacksnake sucking on the cow. Now I know a snake ain’t supposed to be able to suck, but my Granny seen it with her own eyes. Granny picked up a hoe handle that was there in the stone cow barn and cracked the blacksnake with it. She had to be real careful so it wouldn’t bite the teats of the cow. Well, the blacksnake coiled up and Granny proceeded to kill it with the hoe handle, and she dragged it outside of the cow barn. She said it was unreal the amount of milk that poured out of that snake when she stretched it out.

North Mountain rocks.

I also remember a story that my Grandmaw Mary used to tell about a girl named Hallie who lived further up on the mountain. Granny grew up near there. She said that up on the mountain, right near the frost line, there used to be a house that was owned by a man and a woman by the last name of Wildfang. Granny said they were real good people, always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. She said that the man’s name was Hanse and the woman’s name was Mag, and they had tried for years to have a child but it seemed that Mag would always miscarry late in the pregnancy.

Eventually, Mag was able to carry a child to term and gave birth to Hallie. She said that old man and woman Wildfang doted on Hallie something fierce. They gave her anything that she wanted and never made her do any kind of chores or anything. Granny would tell how every morning after breakfast, Mag would give Hallie a cup of buttermilk and a piece of bread and Hallie would carry the treat around with her as she walked around the yard and poked around the barn. Mag and Hanse were very happy and proud of their little girl, and talked about how smart she was, and how fast she learned just by watching things around her. Grandmaw said that one morning, Hallie got her usual snack and walked outside, and seemingly made a beeline for the corncrib. Mag said this wasn’t typical because usually Hallie would walk around the house and look at the flowers and go out to the barn and look at the baby animals and such, but really she didn’t think too much on it. But Hallie was so intent on her walk toward the corncrib that something just struck Mag to follow her that morning, and she did.

My granny told that when Mag opened the door to the corncrib, she saw Hallie sitting on the floor among the cobs, and a snake was drinking the buttermilk out of the cup, and Hallie was telling it, ‘You be sure and eat your bread, too.” Mag, of course, was quite startled and said to Hallie, “Girl, what in the world do you think you are doing feeding that snake,” but Hallie didn’t answer her. She then hurried to Hallie and noticed that she had a real blank stare in her eyes, and Mag knew at once that Hallie had been charmed by the snake. Mag got up and killed the snake, who had kept drinking the buttermilk this whole time, and as soon as she dealt the fatal blow to the snake, Hallie took to screaming at her mother, “Stop killing him, please stop it, you’re killing him.”

Grandmaw Mary, at this point in the story, would say that most people thought that the girl had been witched but nobody could ever figure out who done it. Granny would then continue the story by telling of how after the snake was dead, Hallie became listless, she had no energy, she had no appetite, and Hanse and Mag got really concerned about her. They consulted the doctor down in Riverton, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with her. He just told them to give her Cod Liver Oil. And they did, but it didn’t help. Well, this went on for a couple of weeks, and Hanse and Mag went to a woman in the area who was known as a good witch. She told them that there was only one thing that could be done, the snake had charmed little Hallie and unless they could somehow break the charm spell that the snake put on her, that Hallie would die. The old witch woman then said a few words over her, and all of a sudden the old woman got sick and took to throwing up a vile green fluid. She raced outside and took to pulling up grass out of the yard and eating it, but she kept throwing up over and over. She managed to tell Hanse and Mag that the snake had a powerful hold over Hallie, and that it had charmed her like nothing she had ever seen, and it was too powerful for her. Well, Hanse helped the old woman back into the house and put her into bed, and he thanked her for trying, and he and Mag took Hallie and returned home.

The next morning, word came to them that the old witch woman had died the night before, and it looked like her whole face and neck was covered with snakebites. Hanse and Mag were doubly concerned over Hallie now, and they relayed everything that the old witch woman had told them during their visit with her the day before. After that everyone believed that evil was afoot, and word spread about Hallie’s condition and the old woman’s death. Granny said that soon after that, there were all kinds of preachers that went to the Wildfangs and prayed over Hallie, and one had even come from all the way over at Harrisonburg, VA, to pray over her, but nothing helped. A few days later, Hallie died right after Hanse and Mag had breakfast. Granny said that Hanse and Mag went out of their heads with grief and that they couldn’t even prepare little Hallie to be buried. My Granny’s grandmother, MaryAnna, went and cleaned the body and laid it out for them. Granny said that she’d always been told that while laying out little Hallie, her granny noticed that there was a mark on her that looked like a snakebite, and it was located right over her heart!

Soon after Hallie was laid to rest, Hanse and Mag moved away, Granny said she always heard they moved off to “Ohio somewheres”, but that their old house stood for many years after they moved away. Nobody would ever live in the house after that, and eventually it fell down. Grandmaw Mary would then conclude with telling exactly where the house was located and she would tell that you could still see the foundation of it if you looked real close.

So, do any of you all out there have any snake stories to share? I’d love to hear them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mercian Tittery Ay

Today I thought I'd post an old folk song that I know called, "Mercian Tittery Ay". However, it seems that most people know this song as "Eggs & Marrowbones". I remember my Grandmaw Mary used to sing this in her kitchen while she cooked. She would hum and sing, and I was expected to join in on the chorus. I always thought this song was so funny.

Grandmaw Mary in the kitchen. I can still hear her singing, "Mercian Tittery Ay"

I never did know what the words "Mercian Tittery Ay" meant, but I've heard a similar version of this song (but not exactly the same) by Maggie Hammons. Hers is the only recorded version that I know of that uses the "Mercian Tittery Ay" in it. All of the other versions uses a different chorus line. Webster County, where Maggie Hammons was from, and Pendleton County, where my Granny was from, are fairly close to each other, and pretty much only a mountain separates the two locations. I wonder if they knew the same people, or if their ancestors came from the same place in Ireland. If the latter is the case, that would put this ballad in Pendleton County by the 1820's.

From what I can find, this folk song is Irish in origin and is classified as a Broadside Ballad. It is also known as "The Old Woman from Wexford".
Mercian Tittery Ay (Eggs and Marrowbones)

There was a woman up on the hill,
In a big house she did dwell,
She loved her husband dearly,
But another man twice as well.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

One day she went to the doctor,
Some medicine for to find,
She said, "Doctor give me something,
For to make the old man blind."

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

"Feed him eggs and marrowbone,
And make him suck them all;
It won't be very long until
Your man won't see at all."

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

She fed him eggs and marrowbone,
And made him suck them all,
It wasn't very long until,
He couldn't see the wall.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

The old man said, "I'd drown myself,
But that would be a sin."
The woman said, "I'll go with you,
To see you don't fall in."

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

They walked along together,
'Til they came to the river's brim,
But he said, "I'll not drown myself,
You'll have to push me in.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

The woman made the offer,
And had a run and go;
But the old man quickly stepped aside,
And she fell in the river below.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

She screamed and she hollered
Just as loud as she could bawl,
He said, "My dear beloved wife,
I still can't see at all."

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

She swam and swam and swam until,
She could no further swim;
When he grabbed up a cedar pole
And pushed her deeper in.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

Now eatin' eggs and marrowbones,
Won't make your old man blind;
So if you want to be shed of him,
You must sneak up from behind.

Mercian Tittery Tittery Tittery
Mercian Tittery Tittery-Ay.

So have any of you out there ever heard this song? Do any of you know the origins of the words "Mercian Tittery Ay"?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Flood

“You need to move your car!” These were the words that awakened us at 3:30am. Shirley’s brother, Ricky, was frantically pounding on our bedroom window to let us know that the floodwaters were quickly rising. Almost at the very same time as Ricky pounding on the window, the electricity went off.

I hollered back, “Okay, I’m coming.” Shirley jumped out of bed and, still half asleep, tried to help me to the bedroom door, however, in her sleepy stupor, she started moving items from all around the room into the middle of the bedroom floor. Since the room was pitch-black now due to the electric going out, she was setting up an obstacle course for me. The first thing I ran into, fell over and survived was a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner is usually completely out of the way, but that’s to Shirley’s “helpfulness”, it was located directly between me and the bedroom door. After falling over the vacuum, then tripping over a suitcase, and then kicking another suitcase, I asked Shirley to please quit assisting me in getting out of the room. My lumbersome march across the bedroom had awakened Shirley’s mother, who hollered that there was a flashlight on the nightstand. I then made my way toward the nightstand, only to encounter the same vacuum cleaner (which Shirley had again moved to help me out). Eventually the flashlight was found and I managed to escape Shirley's obstacle course of horrors with only a fist sized bruise on my ribcage. I then proceeded on my way outside into the downpour to rescue our car.

It had started raining at just about dark on Friday evening. We had been sitting out on the porch when the storm blew in, and we rushed inside. It had been raining on and off all night, and it seems a torrential downpour blew in every half hour or so.

Luckily, Ricky is a night owl and had checked on the rain before going to bed, and had noticed that his front yard was under water. He ran out and moved his truck as far up in the yard as he could, there’s not much high ground in Coon Branch but the top of the yard is slightly higher than the bottom of the yard.

By the time I made my way out to move our car, Ricky was standing beside the car and was watching the floodwaters rise. They were right up to the rear end of our car by that time, and I pulled it up as far as I could. The water pouring off the bank behind the house made the driveway look like a creekbed. Ricky told me that his newly planted garden was already under water, and that Matheny Bottom road was under about a foot and a half of water. He said it was almost coming in his truck door as he was moving it to higher ground. I shined the flashlight out into the darkness and all I could see was raging floodwaters. We were flooded in.

The storms kept rolling in one right after the other, and while it was soemtimes hard rain, it had rained like that many times before without flooding like it was. Shirley commented that the people up the holler had recently logged off their property so there was nothing to hold back the water, and it was rushing off, bringing with it tree limbs, rocks and soil.

I came back inside and went back to bed, Ricky said he’d keep an eye on the floodwaters and if they got any worse, we’d have to evacuate and move up on the hill where Shirley’s mother had to wait out the Great Coalfields Flood of 2001. I figured there wasn’t anything that I could do about the flooding so I might as well get some sleep while I could. Shirley, of course, tossed and turned and worried about the stormy waters around us all night.

After a few more storms, which included thunder and lightning, dawn was soon breaking. I woke up and looked outside, it looks about the same, still raining though not as hard as it was. Floodwaters were again nearing the back end of our car, but it looked like it’d be okay. There wasn’t any higher ground to move it too anyway.

Morning found us surrounded by water, and with no electricity. Shirley’s mother was completely distraught over not having her morning coffee. I offered to go outside and built a campfire and heat some water for coffee, but she said the juice would be back on directly. I had my camera so I went out and took some photographs of the flooding, and noticed that now that the rain had stopped that the floodwaters were starting to recede. I could see the tops of the tomato stakes in Ricky’s garden. That made the garden under about 5 feet of water!

After a couple of hours, the waters had went down a little and word got to us that the problem was that the water from Coon Branch had got backed up when it tried to empty into Laurel Fork. Laurel Fork was running full and couldn’t handle any more water, so it was making Coon Branch back up all over Matheny. It was almost as if Laurel Fork was acting as a dam that was holding back Coon Branch. People were commenting that the reason Laurel Fork was so flooded was because of the Mountaintop Removal site located about a mile upstream from the mouth of Coon Branch. Stories were told about how the runoff coming from the mountaintop removal site was unbelievable. Even during the flood, people were blaming the mountaintop removal mining and the rampant logging on exacerbating the flooding. Even old timers there were saying that the water had come up faster than any of them could remember, even in times of harder rain. Without pointing fingers, it did seem like something was going on. It did rain pretty hard at times, but nothing that should have caused this amount of flooding.

After the rain completely stopped, it was only a few hours before all the floodwaters were gone and Coon Branch was left covered with a thick muddy muck that covered everything. The clean-up began, and damage was assessed. We also began to see sightseers coming and going, seemingly getting joy out of other folk’s misery of having lost everything they owned. Many of them would point and ogle at various sites that had been flooded out. I never could understand that. A real Appalachian would have asked if there was anything they could do to help, rather than just driving by to snap pictures and wave. There were even some of the younger people driving their jacked up trucks through the receding floodwaters and playing in the thick mud left behind. This was no time for play.

I was left pondering what is becoming of Appalachia? The land raped by rogue industries, the people ignored by politicians until something bad happens, increased flooding caused by poor stewardship of the land, then looky-loo’s who apparently get joy out of seeing others in misery. What is to become of us now that we are under attack economically, politically, socially, culturally and environmentally? There can be no Appalachia without the mountains that define us. There can be no Appalachia if the basic tenets of what makes us Appalachians are ignored and not passed on to the next generation. Are we to become a culture of victims?

While this was just a relatively small flood up a secluded holler in Wyoming County, West Virginia, it really opened up my eyes to the floodgates that are bulging with a change that will surely flood and forever alter the face of Appalachia if something is not done to curb the insanity.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


For today's post, I am going to tell readers of my mother-in-law, Cora (McKinney) Stewart. The best way to do this is to post the song lyrics of "Song for a Miner's Wife", which was written specifically about Cora by her daughter Shirley. The song can be found on Shirley's upcoming CD, "Been to the Mountaintop".
Song for a Miner’s Wife (Ode to my Mother)
by Shirley Stewart Burns

I came to this valley 40 years ago.
A young miner’s bride to have and to hold.

I was barely 16, and so scared was I
to leave mommy and Daddy and my family behind.

It’s a lonely life
to be a miner’s wife.
Such a lonely life, to have and to hold

I soon settled into my daily routine.
Neely went to the mine, and I cooked and cleaned.
Three children we had, a girl and two boys
our lives they were filled with comfort and joy.

It’s a lonely life
to be a miner’s wife.
Such a lonely life, to have and to hold

I prayed for my Neely as he went to the mine.
And I prayed that my boys never would find.
That they had not a choice but to go underground,
With death and destruction looming all around.

It’s a lonely life
to be a miner’s wife.
Such a lonely life, to have and to hold

I watched as my Neely gasped for his breath.
His lungs were infested, the pain in his chest.
“We’ll grow old together,” he told me once.
But the mining did kill him, dead at 51.

It’s a lonely life
to be a miner’s wife.
Such a lonely life, to have and to hold.

The years quickly passed and my children are grown.
Mostly out of this valley, out on their own.
I think back in time to my young handsome groom,
All alone with my thoughts in this quiet bedroom.

It’s a lonely life
to be a miner’s wife.
Such a lonely life, to have and to hold

© Shirley L. Stewart, 2000

Friday, May 1, 2009

Still Alive After All This Time

While reading the 30 April 2009 issue of The Pendleton Times, my home county newspaper, I came across a news item from the Sugar Grove news titled "German Folk Culture Still Lives Today". This got me to thinking about this topic, and using some information from the aforementioned The Pendleton Times article, I came up with today's post.

When immigrants came to America, their cultural contact was usually broken with the mother country. In the case of many of my ancestors, that mother country was Germany. Within a few generations, the knowledge of the German language and the ability to read and write it waned, and soon a folk culture developed, which encompassed the world of the proverb, superstition and folk medicine. In many parts of the country, “progress” so slow in coming, so this folk culture flourished and became part of everyday life.

While many ways remained that came over from the mother country, most of them were meshed with the new folk culture to form an amalgamation of cultures that, in some areas, remain to this day. While it is beginning to be lost, my home of Germany Valley in Pendleton County is one of these last remaining pockets to cling to the old ways that have been practiced since the early 1700’s.

There are old bits of German poetry that was passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation, sometimes forgotten, sometimes altered. Counting out rhymes were and to an extent, still are popular with young children. As you can see, they are a mesh of the old German language and the newer folk culture. While most (I’d say all, but when a person says all, they can usually be proven a liar) who teach these rhymes have no idea what the German words mean, they have never-the-less remained for around 300 years.

Eins, zwey, drey.
Mommy caught a fly!
The fly died,
Mommy cried;
Eins, zwey, drey!
Hex foot, hex foot;
Toad foot, toad foot!
Long snout, long snout!
Nothing out, nothing out!

Dibble, dobble, thimble head!
Set the farmer on his head;
Who must out, I or thou—
Or miller’s old brown cow
And that are Thou.

Folklore was commonly passed onto the next generations by an elderly member of the family, as in the following:

Hoppi, hoppi, hoppi,
Pony goes galoppi,
Over stock, over stone
Never crack the left shin bone;
Always at a galoppi,
Hoppi, hoppi, hoppi.

Local hexmeisters and powwow doctors provided most of the medical attention in the Pennsylvania Dutch settlements. Hexmeisters cured by using chants and incantations; and by using the power of hex symbols. Many of these hex signs can still be seen today, painted on barns and houses. Many people still believe in the power of the hex signs. (Also, you may not know this, the reason most barns are painted red with white trim, is a direct result of the hexmeister. Red is a power color, and the white trim around doors, windows and openings protected against witches. Also, if you see a barn or outbuilding with white trimmed windows, those are known as “Witch Windows” in Pennsylvania Dutch communities).

An old barn with hex signs on it. The big white circles have a symbol painted on them in case this photo doesn't show it. This symbol is called a rosette, and a sign for basic good fortune and prosperity. This barn is located near Circleville, Pendleton County, WV.

Powwow doctors used a combination of herbal cures and faith healing. Don’t confuse the Pennsylvania Dutch Powwow Doctor with the Native American dance. They are not the same at all. Most powwow doctors used a combination of folk medicine and the Holy Bible. If you believe, there is a multitude of cures for just about any disease or ailment in the first and second books of Moses. The first book of Moses (Genesis) and the second book of Moses (Exodus) can be found in every Holy Bible. That is no secret; the secret is in knowing how to use them. Most powwow and hexmeister secrets were passed on by word of mouth and were kept secret from the masses, lest their powers be used for evil.

Here is a common powwow cure to ease the pain in a child who has hurt himself:

Owley, Owley, keeley hay!
Tomorrow morn it’s all away.

To cure more serious pain, a powwow might use a healing stone on you and repeat three times, starting and stopping each time with the trinity:

Hair and hide,
Flesh and blood,
Nerve and bone,
No more pain than this stone.

Powwowing also assisted in matters that were of importance to the community. Topics of the weather, livestock, gardening and an array of other topics were all in the repertoire of the powwow doctor. Here is another example of something a powwow doctor could assist with:

To keep a bee from stinging you, repeat in an even tone:

Hummler, brummler,
Do not sting
Until devils
Benediction bring.

The following cure was used to stop bleeding:

Auf Christi grab wachsen Drei Rosen,
Die erste is gutig,
Die ander ist nach herrschen viel,
Blut steh still, und wunde heil.

Three roses grow on Christ’s grave;
The first is gracious,
The second would rule.
Blood stand still,
Wound heal!

And here is how to get rid a hex or witching that has been placed upon you or your property:

Take an unwashed jar; take thread spun by a maiden not yet seven years of age; put water (urine) from an animal in the jar. Then take an egg from a black hen, wrap the thread around the egg three times, and speak “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” while doing it. Then put the egg in the water, close the jar, turn it upside down so no moisture escapes and set it near the fire, saying: “Get rid of the witch in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”