I learned this song from Charlie Bridger of Stone-in-Oxney in Kent. Interestingly Charlie (born 1913) had learned the song at School – almost certainly from English Folk-Songs For Schools: Collected And Arranged By S. Baring Gould, M.A. & Cecil J. Sharp, B.A. published by Curwen in 1907.
Before singing me the song Charlie said
You want to hear the ‘Jolly Waggoner’s song’ then? Well, I learnt that at school actually and I come across – well, I found a book with it in the other night… ‘The Jolly Waggoner’ – “this was collected and arranged by S. Baring Gould and Cecil Sharp”. You heard of old Cecil Sharp I expect.
Then, having sung it
I learnt that at school actually. I couldn’t remember the last verse.
I asked “Did they teach you it out of a book like that? A folk-song book?” to which Charlie replied “I expect so – a thing like that, yeah”.
Baring-Gould collected a number of versions of the song in the West Country. This tune, although in Baring-Gould’s MSS, would appear to have been collected by his collaborator H. Fleetwood Sheppard in 1890, from James Parsons of Lewdown in Devon,
This version is the common broadside by Catnach, Fortey, Such etc.
The Jolly Waggoner