Note: more info here (thanks, Mary): http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/HHH070.html
Note Laurel’s surprise! This was the first outing for a special tune composed by members of West London Folk Band/Orchestra to celebrate its 15th anniversary this summer. Here is this surprise tune performed here at Gunnersbury House (world premiere, folks!) :
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Words from Mary:
The words I found are:
According to Wikipedia – “Oats Peas Beans and Barley Grow” (sometimes sung as “Oats and Beans and Barley Grow”) is a traditional British and American folk song, 1380 in the Roud Folk Song Index.The tune normally used, goes by the name “Baltimore” and appears in Joshua Cushing’s book “The Fifer’s Companion” (1790). The sleevenotes to “The Wild Mountain Thyme” claim that the tune was written by John Playford (1650). According to Alice Bertha Gomme’s book “The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland” (1894), this is a “play song”, in which children perform actions with the song, standing in a ring. In “Notes and Queries” 7th series, number xii (c 1870) it is discussed, but the Columbia State University website claims that the earliest known version of the words is dated 1898 (Gomme).