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Brian O'Lynn

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Performer: Williams, Bill
Place Collected: Gloucester
Date collected: 1957
Collector: Kennedy, Peter
Roud Number: 294

This light-hearted song has surprising longevity.  The earliest known version was printed about 1780 but a later sources cites a book printed c. 1560 and the song was reputedly mentioned in The Complaynt of Scotland, 1549.  This cannot be verified.  Be that as it may, the song has been found all over the English-speaking world and versions have been collected even in recent times.  There is an Irish Jig of the same name, but the tune bears no resemblance to the song.

Notes by Gwilym Davies Feb 2020