"This moralising carol was much used
by beggars and others towards
Christmastime. Its tune turns over and
again attached to such carols as
"The Fountain of Christ's Blood",
"Have You Not Heard of our Dear Saviour's Love" and
"The Black Decree", also to the favourite old dialogue-ballad
"Death and the Lady", traceable to the sixteenth century. Here it is...
in a form common among gipsies habitually
the West Midlands half a century ago."
- A.L. Lloyd 1965