This ballad begins: 'Come under my plaidie, the nicht's gaun to fa' ' / Come in frae the cauld blast, the drift and the snaw ; / Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me, / There's room in't, dear lassie, believe me, for twa!'. To be sung to the tune of Johnnie M'Gill.
Not uncommonly, there are no publication details or dates given here. It is known, however, that the ballad was written by Hector MacNeil (1746-1818) so it certainly dates from the late eighteenth, or early nineteenth century, though published a lot later. The piece is illustrated fairly crudely with a woodcut of a very thin man, wearing tartan trousers and a large billowing tartan scarf, walking against the wind and rain.
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:
1880-1900 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(34b)
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