Jon Admits, “Fay is from Keighley so I fear will never forgive Tim Hart for his mispronunciation (‘Keeley’). I’ve at least got that right although, as ever, the southern accent lets me down with this song.”
Fair enough I suppose as this was originally written in a broad Yorkshire dialect by a man with a a particular interest in said in the late C19th. Mainly Norfolk covers that (dialect ‘n’ all)and also makes clear that the tune is a recent addition. The song or poem more like was written by a Frederick William Moorman and you can Wiki him here, although it’s a brief entry and I note he died quite young, so if you know him please add below. I’ll also leave you to Mudcat here as well. I like this one and suppose it marks the effects of the industrial revolution, but the protagonist seems to have flung himself at anything going to earn his family’s keep, yet escaped at last. It seems odd, but this very idea could become almost as arcane as any of the motifs we’ve had here to date. A sort of Victorian Escape To The Country if you will.