This tune first appeared in Apollo’s Banquet For The Treble Violin
(1670) as ‘The Irish Shagg’, later in The Dancing Master
(6th edition, 1679) as ‘The King’s Jig’, and finally in Thomas D’Urfey’s Several New Songs
(1684) from which it was reprinted in Pills to Purge Melancholy
as ‘The Winchester Wedding’, a ballad by Thomas D’Urfey (c1653–1723). Curiously, the ‘Pills’ tune has seven extra bars and although this is possibly a musical inaccuracy, these seven bars are included here as an insert, dividing the verse. This gives an even more ‘Irish’ feel to this lilting dance tune and also gives the listener a chance to absorb the tongue-twisting text. The subsequent popularity of the tune was such that it was used in no fewer than seventeen eighteenth-century ballad operas.
from notes by Douglas Wootton © 1981