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Leather Bottel, The

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Place Collected: Tewkesbury
Date collected: 1908 (11 Apr)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 1307

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.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 15 April 2015