I saw this sung in what was, I believe, its first public performance; summer 1977, somewhere in deepest Somerset; and done by the Mark 4 line-up of Maddy Prior, Tim Hart, John Kirkpatrick, Rick Kemp and Martin Carthy. (Nigel Pegrum, drums and woodwinds, was probably not singing here.)
It is a wonderfully poignant tune and harmonization, with words expressive of the craft-pride of a 'skilled working man'. For some unidentified reason, this bittersweet song has always evoked in me tears; mixed from joy with sadness at the transience of youth, optimistic vigour, and sheer confidence.
The unaccompanied singing is strong and direct, open-throated; with open-chords and sudden unisons - somehow spanning the generations and evoking a lost era. It is full of excellences from all - but notably underpinned by the solid, crumhorn-like, bass and lead of the incomparable Martin Carthy.