runrigfans lyrics are the ones i learned so long ago i can't remember where i got them. however he';s missing a couple of verses.
i was long aware helen creighton collected in early, and that may support a nova scotia origion but i think sandy maclean has the real point. this was probably a song shared by the fishermen who frequented the same grounds and the song is of the form that people improvised the lyrics. there were probably many improvised version but after publication the common version became the one most people sang. i have heard many other lyrics over the years. i guess i should have written them down, but i didn't.
multiple origions are possible for a widely sung tune with a basic theme. then the lyrics get sort of standardized when they get published. remember that most of the people singing these things now have never worked in a fish boat, or are even a generation from someone who did. the |neo| folkies can often forget the efferminal nature of popular working class songs.
and ps, i did work in a fish bot when i was 17, and i do not recomend it. let your babies become cowboys anyday