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General James Wolfe (1727-1759) died commanding the forces against the French in Quebec and we can presume that this ballad appeared shortly afterward. However, it can only be traced back to 1818, in the publication “Vocal Library”. The jingoistic and patriotic words would have appealed to singers in Empire days, as would the striking tune. Many will be aware of the version of this song popularised by the Watersons in the 60s, to much the same tune as the Gloucestershire versions. It has been widely collected in England but hardly anywhere else. There is a different song about General Wolfe sung in the USA.
Williams did not collect a tune but for possible tunes to this song, go to ‘Browse’ and search for 624 in the Roud number search.