This song was collected by Irish poet Padraic Colum and musicologist Herbert Hughes. The 1909 date represents its first known publication in Hughes' "Irish Country Songs". It is uncertain the extent to which traditional lyrics for the song were rewritten by Colum. The Colum version is shorter than many other known versions, and his contribution to the lyrics of the 1909 version seems to be principally editing. Some scholars assert the song actually dates back to Medieval times.
The singer meets his love. She tells him it "won't be long until our wedding day". (Longer variants of this song are often entitled "Our Wedding Day".) The young lady than "moves through the fair". Most frequently, the girl's ghost returns at the end to again move through the fair.