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Broadside ballad entitled 'Arms and the Man, I Sing'


Verse 1: 'God, prosper our King, and the King's noble Sons ! / May their Praises resound from the Mouths of their Guns ! / Till Rebellion and all civil Discord may cease, / And these Realms be restor'd to a flourishing Peace.'

This cutting ballad was written sometime after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. It savagely criticises the Jacobites and their supporters, and praises King George II and his son, the Duke of Cumberland, for their efforts to restore 'a flourishing peace' between Scotland and England. The Swiss, French, Danish, German and early American revolutionary, James Oglethorpe are also lambasted for their rebelliousness. Because of the overall tone of the piece, and the fact that it refers to, 'the Scots . . . (For ever betraying, for ever betray'd)', it is likely that this was not composed by a Scot.

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 date published: 1746   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(126)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Arms and the Man, I Sing'
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