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This rather curious song has only been collected 3 times, and only one of those in complete form. Mr Corbett’s version is rather garbled and incomplete, as is a Somerset version, also collected by Sharp. The story is redeemed a full text collected by Baring Gould from Matthew Ford of Menheniot, Cornwall.
The phrase “deceived in Toby” is obscure but the few historical references that we have suggest that it refers to someone of menial appearance proving himself to be better than others. In this song, he shines at wrestling, fighting, seamanship and card-sharping.
It is suspected that words such as “shroby” and “toasy” are made up to fit the rhyme.