The BBC TV ancestors program "Who do you think you are" featured choirmaster Gareth Malone, in which he was presented with and sang a song written by his umpty-grandfather called The Whistling Thief. As posted above. Dan Lowery(?) had been a leading Irish singer in Liverpool in the mid-1800s before moving to Dublin and becoming a leading impresario there. My immediate reaction to the tune was that I'd heard it before, in Geordie music hall. The thread above mentions "Geordie haud the bairn" but it is also used in "I wish Pay Friday wad come", the words being dated to 1870.