This is based on historical fact, although possibly takes a few liberties with actual events and Jon says, “I Learnt from the Bothy band, although it’s an English song through and through and it’s unusual to come across a sympathetic characterisation of Henry VIII.” Jane survived the birth to die some days later (or did she?), while the prince survived but dies young. This Wiki page is interesting and starts with the idea that it isn’t about Jane Seymour at all, but doesn’t really offer much support for that idea. It’s still worth a gander at the words as Child recorded them. Should you really want the full Child experience, the link at the bottom of the page or here gives multiple variations. You might want to Mudcat as well and I note that there is no answer to how old this is, although it might relate to The Lamentation Of Queen Jane from 1560. I also found this, but wont link to the site as it plays a horrible midi file relentlessly that I can’t seem to turn off and I don’t know the source of this information, which seems very sure of itself…
A version of this ballad appears as early as 1612. It is reprinted in Old Ballads (1723).
You might want to stop by here for a classic Mondegreen. As always, if you can add more to the story of the song please do.
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