Many thanks, to the contributions on this Redwing song.
It seems a lot of Victorian, Music hall (eg Jenny Lind) and war time songs entered the folk tradition without having such a long antiquity but still having an equal contribution.
As seems to be commonly the case with folk tradition there is Scottish, Australian, American, Irish, various regional English variations,etc.
There is an old thread on the Wild Rover song originally noted down in Norfolk by Cecil Sharp which may have just been sung all over.
I think we all have a natural tendency to want to claim ownership to traditions and lay claim to their sources. Of course songs,tunes,dances must have started somewhere but does it really matter anyway.
I like to think there is a complex network of interconnections caused by many areas rich in tradition and by many travellers carrying stuff around and changing its form.
As always though we should respect people's traditions and not undermine their claims of ownership if only for the fact they are helping to keep them thriving.
Albatross (whoops getting a bit philosophical)