I first learned this song from a Corries record I had in HighSchool. I still have the record and I still sing the song.
There isn't whole lot different from The Whistling Gypsy Rover than from Anachie Gordon or Willie O' Winsbury or Jock of Hazeldean. Or for that matter Patches and Romeo and Juliette.
Kids fall in love and Dad doesn't like it or the in most cases his daughter's Boyfriend. And as in life he either comes around or he doesn't, they live happily ever after or one or both of them die.
I imagine they are all retellings of the same old story with the moral made to fit a time and a place. Willie O Winsbury wins over Janet's father because he is so handsome. Jock O' Hazeldean does esentially the same thing . Poor Anachie arrives late leaving Lord Salton to bury two people. And Patches can't can't escape the stigma of the shanty town so she drowns herself.
But jeepers gang its just a bunch of good songs. Lets not make more of them that they are. Next thing you know some pinhead will be telling me I shouldn't sing songs that speak of oppressing the Gypsies, poor folk, or landless poachers.
.....The socially acceptable but politically discontected and landless rover can over the hill.......
Doesn't really sing from the soul does it?