A Chronological List: 1729 – ca. Part II: 1813 – ca. 12 when John Henry fielding the historical register for the year 1736 pdf introduced the “new” “Robin Adair”.
I do not in anyway claim this to be complete but I hope I have included all the important versions, editions and performers. For the years since 1812 I have only listed selected items to show the two songs’ subsequent history and development during the 19th century. Sources Of Irish Traditional Music, C. 1600 – 1855, 2 Vols. I have added links if the sources are available online. Charles Coffey, The Beggar’s Wedding.
As it is acted at the Theatre in Dublin, with great applause. And at the Theatre in the Hay-Market. London and Dublin that year. Coffey was among the first to jump on the bandwagon. The first two editions did not include the music. But for the third edition he added an appendix with all the tunes.
Printed for James and John Knapton, at the Crown in St. Ellen A Roon”, tune from: Charles Coffey, The Beggar’s Wedding, 3rd Edition, London 1729, app. The B-part is little bit different from later versions! But it also would be a little difficult to sing the Coffey’s text to this tune because the second half of this variant is some bars longer than necessary. It seems that this version of “Ellen A Roon” didn’t have much influence. I am not aware of any reports about more performances of “Ellen A Roon” in the following years, except one remark by W. 1731 at the old Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, by Mrs.
Sterling, in an opera epilogue to ‘Richard III. From: John Walsh, The Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master, 3d Edition, London ca. Young, Her Book, NLS MS 5. This is clearly a variant of “Eileen Aroon” but, alas, it’s only the first half of the song: the B-part is missing. But at least this version shows that the tune was known in Scotland already at this time and it was associated with the song called “Robin Adair”.