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This doleful ditty goes back probably 200 years and curiously there are as many American versions of it as British. The Carter family in the USA even had a version under the title “I Never will Marry” and in that form has been covered such artists as Dolly Parton and Joan Baez. The British version has been subject to parody, possibly because of the melodramatic nature of the story. The Sussex singer Gordon Hall sang a parodied version.