This ballad begins: 'The Laird o' Cockpen he's puir and he's duddy / Wi' daidling and drinking his head is aye muddy / But he was determined to hae a bit wife, / Although shs [she] should vex him the rest o' his life'.
As the title suggests, this ballad is a parody of the popular song entitled the 'Laird o' Cockpen'. The original version is attributed to Lady Carolina Nairne (Carolina Oliphant) (1766-1845) and begins: 'The Laird o' Cockpen, he's proud and he's great, / His mind is ta'en up wi' the things o' the state'. Whilst the Laird o' Cockpen is proud and great in Lady Nairne's version, he is turned down by the object of his affection. In the parody, however, despite being poor and ragged, the Laird o' Cockpen is accepted as a suitable suitor and lives happily ever after.
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 period of publication:
1860-1890 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(103)
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