Originally Posted by ganzfeld
So far, most of the supposed references for claim this were written way way after the song was first around, over 150 years ago.It was already being parodied by the late 1850s. (It occurs to me that the story of the OP might come from some of those parodies rather than the original meaning.)
I think that the answer to this question will be found in the academic book I cited originally, that omits several relevant pages. It will have good checkable references. But the song itself is a version of "Lubly Fan." This is starting to feel like textual criticism of the Old Testament.