According to William Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time
(1859), this song was sung in "a right pithy, pleasant, and merry comedy" Gammer Gurton's Needle
(1575) but song itself is of an earlier date. A certain Warton described it as the "first drinking song of any merit in our language". Obviously a sentiment felt by Peter Warlock
who used three of its verse unadulterated in his chamber song Maltworms
. Other sources provide many other verses under the tune and title of John Dory.