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The well-known Welsh air "The Ash Grove" is but another version of the same tune; but whether the Welsh derived the air from England or vice versa is a moot point. The matter is discussed, at some length, in Chappell's "Popular Music of the Olden Time," p. 665, to which the reader is referred.
The air that we print is as the Headington Morris-men played it; but we also recovered a variant of it from the Bidford dancers. The "Constant Billy" of the Bampton men, already mentioned, is yet another variant, but in the Ĉolian mode.
The words of the first verse of the Headington version were as follows:
O Constant Billy, Shall I go with 'ee? O when shall I see My Billy again?
The Bampton words were different:
O my Billy, my constant Billy, When shall I see my Billy again? When the fishes flies over the mountains Then you will see your Billy again.
Mr. Kidson tells us that this is a variant of "The Mill, Mill, O" in "Orpheus Caledonius," I., p. 40 (1725). It has also some points in common with "Just as the tide was a-flowing" in "Folk-Songs from Somerset," II., No. 37 (and note).
This is a version in the major mode of "The Staines Morris Tune," published in the first edition of Playford's "Dancing Master," and reprinted in Chappell's "Popular Music of the Olden Time," I., p. 126. How it has come to be christened "Bluff King Hal" we do not know unless, as Mr. Kidson suggests, the Bidford Morris men have taken the name from some modern collection of old English dances.
As has already been stated, this tune, which was given us by the Bidford Morris dancers, is printed in Thoinot Arbeau's "Orchesographie," p. 94. A Dutch version of the same air is included in a collection of dance-tunes by Tielman Susato (Antwerp, 1551); and is reprinted in Carl Engel's "Literature of National Music," p. 56. See also Grove's "Dictionary of Music" (old ed.) II., 369.

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