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Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald's Farewell to Lochaber'


Verse 1: 'Farewell to Lochaber, and farewell my Jean, / Where heartsome with thee I hae monie days been; / For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more, / We'll maybe return to Lochaber no more.' Unfortunately, no publication details are included on the sheet.

This ballad tells the story of parting lovers, and highlights the fears they have regarding the likelihood that they may never meet again. The reference to winning 'glory and fame' possibly suggests that the man is about to leave and fight in a war. The author of the ballad, Allan Ramsay, had Jacobite sympathies. The ballad itself is quite inventive in its use of poetic imagery, with the sea tempests that the man is about to face during the imminent journey being imaginatively employed to convey the stormy nature of his inner turmoil.

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(122)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald's Farewell to Lochaber'
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