Older versions are in the key of' F' major, though it was stated in' D' by Joseph Kershaw's in the manuscript of his fiddler (from North West England). "Fisher's" exists from the late 18th century on in various musician's handwritten books (see Ann Winning ton's music book — Winnington was born in America, but was England's resident). The song is entered under the name "Egg Hornpipe" in Lincolnshire composer Joshua Gibbons 1823–26 book, perhaps after the tradition of some stage hornpipe dancers to strew the floor with eggs and dance between them without losing any, to show talent and command. It was one of the most famous tunes in the manuscripts of English musicians, appearing in the Burnett, Green, Watson, Ellis Knowles, Harrison, Mittel, amongst many others listed above. Phillip Heath-Coleman finds a variant as Oxfordshire Morris dance musician William Kimber's' 1st of May/1st of May (The)' (the title applied to many different tunes) and reports that' Neal Lanham accumulated a diddled version of the same simplified variant from Billy French in Sudbury, Suffolk, where the same bars reflect more closely the' original' version of' Fisher's.' In a short span of time, the song was widely popular. It was already known in both England and the newly independent United States as "Fisher's Hornpipe" when it was written in his copybook for the German flute of c by the American John Greenwood. 1783. Another American book of the 18th century, a 1796 collection entitled An Evening Amusement for German Flute and Violin, was published by Benjamin and Joseph Carr in Philadelphia and features the hornpipe played in' D' Major. To the melody was written an American rural dance.