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This tale of love scorned and mental cruelty has proved to be hugely popular all over the English-speaking world. Samuel Pepys mentioned it in his diaries in 1666 and versions of are still being recorded by current folksong collectors. It appears to be the most frequently collected of all Child ballads.
Williams did not collect a tune but for possible tunes to this song, go to ‘Browse’ and search for 54 in the Roud number search.