This post completes the second year of A Folk Song A Week. Never having counted how many songs I actually know, it’s hard to say how many more I have to post, but I reckon I can keep going for another year or so.
This one – a piece of “sublime doggerel” according to Frank Kidson – I learned very early in my career as a singer of folk songs, from Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl’s The Singing Island. The source of the song is given as “William Miller, Stirling” – MacColl’s father, I believe.
It was once a very popular song in England, Scotland and beyond – look at all the recorded versions in the Roud Index.
Banks of Sweet Dundee