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It dates to 1818 in England's Traditional Ballads Index. Irish singers adopted the tune for political use in the 19th century ("Ireland Blocks The Way") and Confederate soldiers adopted it during America's Civil War as "Chivalrous C.S.A." (1861). The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music has the first American publication dating from 1844. As always, thanks to Mudcat Café for the song info & versions! It is best sung as a call-and-response.