This little lyrical song is made up from ‘floating’ verses that appear in other songs, e.g. ‘The Turtle Dove’. If only for amusement value, it is worth quoting the original 4th verse from the broadside:
The pride of all the produce rare, That in our garden grow’d Was pumkins, but none could compare In angel form to my Mary Ann, In angel form to my Mary Ann.
What girl wouldn’t be flattered to be compared to a pumpkin!
This Gloucestershire is the only time the song has been collected in England. A Canadian version was recorded by the Black and White Minstrels and by Marianne Faithfull.