The first verse reads: 'You gallant sons of freedom that come from Erin's island, / Come listen to a verse or two, its worthy of your smiling, / A battle was fought in Cumberland - a battle too most cruel, / It was between M'Lusky bold and the brave Anthony Suel.' It was published by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow, and probably sold for one penny.
During the years of industrialisation, emigration from Ireland to Scotland reached record levels as the Irish travelled in search of work. At the same time, broadside producers became aware of the arrival of this new audience and began producing sheets that would appeal to them. This included news reports from Ireland and ballads recalling the beauty of Erin and the bravery of the Irish. Unfortunately, it also led to broadsides that played on the fears and prejudices of people who, in their ignorance, were afraid and suspicious of these new arrivals.
Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.
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Probable date of publication:
1852-1859 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(033)
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