The opening lines of these three ballads are: 'Now really, Jane, you're temper is, / So very odd today', 'On the fourteenth day of February, we sailed from the land' and 'Tell me the tales that to me were so dear, / Long, long ago, long, long ago.'
These three separately-titled ballads are collected on one broadside named 'Melodist'. The inclusion of more than one song or report on a broadside was not particularly uncommon, but the presence of a separate umbrella title for the broadside is more unusual, and suggests that this may have been one of a series of broadsides or songsheets entitled 'Melodist', that perhaps included two or three different songs every issue. As there are no publication details or issue numbers on this broadside, however, it is not possible to verify that it was part of a series.
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:
1860-1880 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(145)
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