Len Graham from Newry, Northern ireland: On Autumn Harvest ah011: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads 8: The Little Ball of Yarn Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2011.
The song appears as a broadside ballad in the nineteenth century and seems to borrow from the older 'night-visit' theme of the ballad - Sweet William's Ghost (Child 77). However, Bronson classifies the ballad along with The Grey Cock (Child 248) which also includes the night visit and cock crowing motifs. Len has recorded the song on Topic 12TS334LP (1976) and on Cranagh CMCD4453 (2010). There are several copies of Willie O in the Bodlean Library collection of Broadside Ballads. Child 77/ 248, Roud 50/ 179.
c p 2012 Autumn Harvest : www.springthyme.co.uk