The extremely popular song, written by William Watson around 1826, and sent by him to his brother whilst working as a painter in London.
This song forms part of a selection of songs from 'The songs of the bards of the Tyne' currently held by the Border History Museum. The content was selected and edited by local composer J.P. Robson at the request of publishers P. France and Co. in 1849. The volume contains over 300 songs, with some eighty contributions from the editor himself. With material from local favourites such as William Mitford, Robert Emery and William Stephenson, the book contains some of the region's most popular and enduring songs, and is as valuable to the history of traditional song as collections such as 'Allan's Tyneside songs'.
The editor, Joseph Philip Robson, was born in Newcastle on 24th September, 1808. Losing his parents at an early age, Robson was sent to learn the trade of a plane maker. However, after an industrial accident, Robson eventually took up the occupation of a schoolmaster, issuing a number of poetical volumes. A regular contributor to Chater's Comic Almanack, Joseph Robson died on 26th August, 1870 aged sixty-seven years.