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Williams Watts, who sang the song to Cecil Sharp, remarked that the song was “very common in Gloucestershire when he was a boy”. Alfred Williams, collecting some years later remarked that many singers had heard of it but that its popularity was in the early and middle 19th century. Certainly it is a very old song and “A pleasant new song in praise of the leather bottell” was printed in London in the mid 17th century. Thereafter the song appeared in a few publications of song books, but despite its apparent popularity at one time, few versions have appeared in oral tradition and our two Gloucestershire versions are notable for their rarity.