Nice to hear that others have been struck by this song which I came across by chance on an obscure CD by an Oxfordshire folk group. As remarked by Roger of Sheffield it is, oddly, notated mistakenly in Gmajor in the Northumbrian Minstrelsy, it is of cours a minor/modal melody. The open bars have a striking resemblance to those a piece of medieval Spanish church music, also heard by change on BBC Radio 3 some time ago. So the origins are undoubtedly old. I have adapted the melody slightly, put competely new words to it, and scored it for unaccompanied choir. The result was first sung at a carol service in London last year. It is being sung again this year elsewhere. The melody's simplicity is very effective and I tried to reflect this is the new words. I like the 'original' words, but think their effect is limited unless performed by somebody with a feel for the dialect. Happy listening.