All the printed versions o f this goodnight ballad (other than the one published by Such) appear to have been collected in the first decade o f the twentieth century. M r Ridley says that he learned the song before he was ten years old, i.e. before 1923. Apart from his opening line, which is usually associated with ‘The Northam ptonshire Poacher’ , his text makes no radical departures from the broadside text. The loss o f three or four verses, however, makes the story less than clear.