I probably first hear the tune in childhood but did not learn the song until finding it in Folk Songs of the British Isles
. Andrew Gant has taken this song from the Madden Collection of Ballads
, Cambridge and goes on to say that this melancholy is superior to many 18th century ballad broadsides both in the quality of its poignant lyric and in its elegant melody.
For myself I love its gentle quaintness and the lilting repeated chorus.