Jon Identifies this as “Another song that I first heard on the magnificent first album by Waterson:Carthy, sung by Martin. I think Graham Metcalfe used to song it at the Half Moon too. It’s a good drinking song, despite not having much of a chorus.”
I don’t have a whole lot to add to that. It’s fairly well covered by Mainly Norfolk with Bert Llloyd and Martin Carthy’s versions both transcribed with sleeve notes from both. The source as collected by the Hammonds is the same and I like the idea of the mariners/mourners confusion, although given the fish reference in the song, the former seems more likely for sure. There isn’t a whole lot more known about this songs as far as I can tell, so I suppose we should just enjoy it. I must say I intend to charge a glass myself this evening as I’m feeling somewhat tired for a bit of a stroll round London. Some good company and plenty of it to. I’ll raise a toast to the TUC.