Ginger Meggs, a popular long-run Australian comic strip, was created in the early 1920s by Jimmy Bancks. The strip follows the escapades of a red-haired prepubescent mischief-maker who lives in an inner suburban working-class household.
While employed at The Bulletin, Bancks submitted cartoons to the Sydney Sunday Sun, where he began his Us Fellers strip in 1921 in the "Sunbeams" section of the Sunday Sun. Ginger first appeared in Us Fellers on 13 November 1921, drawn by Bancks.
Bancks died 1 July 1952, from a heart attack. Ron Vivian took over the strip, followed by Lloyd Piper, James Kemsley and Jason Chatfield.
The song appears in many variants but the main theme is that the knight of the title woos the lady with music, or abducts her, and carries her off to a deep wood or seaside, where he tells her that he has killed seven (or more) other women and plans to do the same to her. In many European versions it is made explicit that he proposes to "dishonour" her as well. She, however, distracts him by one of a number of means and then contrives to kill him in her stead.
Some variants include a curious final section in which the lady returns home and engages in conversation with a parrot in a cage. She usually makes a bargain with the bird that she will give it a golden cage if it refrains from telling her father of the escapade with the knight.
Here is the classic recipe as found on the labels of the era:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 scant cups flour
5 Baby Ruth candy bars, cut up
Cream together softened butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add soda, salt, vanilla and flour. Fold in chocolate chips and pecan pieces. Drop teaspoon size dough on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.