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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Highlander's Adventures in Glasgow Fair'

Commentary

Verse 1: 'Her nainsel cam to the Lowland town to see the fair and thrang man, / Before she walk'd the city round, she got mony a squeeze and bang, man, / But she'll awa down by the auld brig, bear to the Broomi law, man, / The lads kick'd up the funniest rig, the like you never saw, man.' 'Nainsel' is a nickname for a Highlander, and means 'one's own self'. Unfortunately, no publication details are included on the sheet.

This broadside ballad tells of a young woman from the Highlands who visits Glasgow to attend a fair. The writer proceeds, in a light-hearted manner, to tell his audience about the various shows and acts that she views while walking round the fair. Unfortunately, however, one of the male performers relieves the apparently innocent and na´ve country girl of her purse, only to suddenly find himself at the wrong end of a Highland dirk. After a brief tussle, the police arrive and throw the young woman into prison. Following the court case and subsequent fine, the writer concludes that this is probably the last time the woman will attend the Glasgow Fair.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Highlander's Adventures in Glasgow Fair'
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