Scots travelling folk who sing this song all appear to have learned it from the same source - an Irish Traveller named Docherty. Intermittently, over the past five or six years, the editors have questioned Irish singers but have not succeeded in finding any who know the song. That it is Irish is beyond doubt, but that is all that can be said o f it with any certainty. The final stanza is one which occurs in many versions o f ‘The Boston B u rglar’ (our No. 92). Indeed, the use o f the word ‘penitentiary’ and the ‘ball and chain ’ reference in the second stanza suggest that the song may be o f Am ericanIrish origin - unless, o f course, the equivalent stanza in ‘The Boston B urglar’ has been culled from an earlier transportation ballad.