This a jolly song that I well remember learning by heart in my childhood at primary school. In the Royal Navy in the 1950's and 1960's we sang the same tune to quite different words and under the title of "The Preacher in the Dockyard Church", the definitive version of which can be found in Cyril Tawney's Grey Funnel Lines
. I sang it with so much gusto that I forgot the words of my childhood ditty. It was only when going through Folk Songs of the British Isles
that I re-acquired the forgotten verses and is once again in my repertoire.