The first ballad begins: 'NOW wat ye wha I met the Streen', coming down the Street my Jo? / My Mistress in her Tartan Skreen / sow Bonny braw and sweet my Jo.'
The second ballad begins: 'Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, / they are two bonny Lasses, / They bigg'd a Bower on yon Burn-brae, / And theek'd it o'er wi Rashes.' Both ballads were written by Allan Ramsay (1686-1758).
The first ballad explores the timeless theme of a young man's imagination running away with itself, upon meeting his beloved walking along a street. Suddenly, the audience is magically transported into a peaceful dale inhabited by larks and nightingales, while the young lovers lock arms. The second ballad appears to be a eulogy dedicated to two young ladies who are graceful and beautiful. Tragically, however, this ballad is apparently based on the deaths of Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, who died of the plague in 1645.
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Probable date published:
1720- shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(114)
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