Verse 1: 'Long years have passed since we first met, / It breaks my heart to think of thee, / I am sure you cannot yet forget / The pleasant hours you spent with me. / Year after year glides swiftly past, / And not one word you've sent to me, / Clouds o'er my sunny path are cast, / My love has crossed the dark blue sea.' This ballad was written by Mr J Macguire of Dundee, and was to be sung to the air 'I'm lonely since my mother died'. It was published at 190 and 192 Overgate, Dundee, probably by the Poet's Box.
This ballad is narrated by someone whose sweetheart has apparently emigrated, leaving the narrator broken-hearted. There are a few unanswered questions raised by the song. We learn that the separation took place several years ago and that the narrator has not heard from his or her former lover since, yet the narrator is convinced the ex-lover 'cannot yet forget' the happiness they enjoyed together. Love lost was a popular subject for ballads, but often the history of the realtionship was recounted in more detail than in this case.
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(81a)
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