In his songbook A Garland Of Country Song. A big 'hit' in those days as sung by W.H. Williams. London (Cockney) street song. The English forefather of Round Her Neck She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, later Tie A Yellow Ribbon (US) and The Black Velvet Band (IRE). When lovers were separated (by war, jail or deportation), the left behind one was supposed to greef and hope, wearing a distinctive hatdress. Leaves of the weeping willow were an obvious choice.
Mrs. R.W. Duncan [in Dartmoor, Nova Scotia for the L.o.C.]
Dennis Smith [5 days later]
Johnny McDonagh [same melody in The Death Of Brugh; Cathal Brugha was a leader of the Irish revolt of 1916; he was shot by the British in '22; Irish Alan Lomax recording]
Neil O'Brien [also in Nova Scotia for Smithsonian Folkways as All Around My Hat]
Stanley Holloway [idem]
Peg Clancy Power [as Tri-Coloured Ribbon; lyrics: Peadar Kearney]
Anne Byrne [as Tri Coloured Ribbon]
Wolfe Tones [idem; Irish nationalistic reflex]
Paedar Kearney [as Tri-coloured Ribbon; Irish republican variation, focusing on the repercussions of the Easter 1916 uprising; Peter Bellamy recording]
Steeleye Span [as All Around My Hat; international folk hit, top 5 UK, that's bigger than any other trad. song]
Status Quo [idem; with Maddy Pryor (Steeleye Span) on harmony vocals; hit UK]
Same tune as in The Budgeon Is A Fine Trade (1850s). (Round Her Neck) She Wears/Wore A Yellow Ribbon (Andrews Sisters a.o.) is another song with oldest versions around 1917/18 (George A. Norton & American Quartet).