Jon acknowledges Mike Waterson as his source of this and notes, “Bellowhead have done this a few times – maybe we’ll get around to recording it at some point.”
This is one that seems to have traversed the Irish Sea as there’s an original ballad, The Blooming Rose Of Antrim at its root. Or at least so Bert Lloyd has it at Mainly Norfolk. Apparently the tune was originally a capstan shanty and is common to other songs. It seems unusual to have a happy ending here, although I’m a bit concerned that ‘the blooming rose’ might need a trip to the opticians.