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A number of composers at the turn of the twentieth century travelled the UK in order to write down and record old folk melodies found only in the oral tradition, to ensure their preservation for the future. This song first came to widespread attention when Cecil Sharp published it in a book of melodies he had collected, ‘Morris Dance Tunes’, in 1912. In this volume it was named ‘The Handkerchief Dance’; it also appears in other sources as ‘Field Town’ and ‘Bampton in the Bush’. The tune is thought to go back to medieval times. It was popularised by the Australian composer Percy Grainger, who was also a passionate collector of English folk music. He published it as ‘Country Gardens’ in an arrangement for piano in 1918, dedicated to the memory of his friend Edward Grieg. Since then it has appeared in countless other versions and arrangements, each of which reflect the simple, lively character of the music.