The first ballad begins: 'Gentlemen Visitors, how do you do? / Pop into my comic museum, / Of things rare and curious, I've got not a few / Come in and you shall quickly see 'em.' A note below the woodcut illustration states that the first ballad should be sung to the tune, 'Let the Toast Pass'.
The second ballad begins: 'A chieftain to the Highlands bound, / Cried boatman do not tarry, / And I'll give thee a silver pound / To row us o'er the ferry.' This ballad was written by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844). Underneath the title of the first ballad, a note states that the sheet was published by 'Mitchelson, Printer, three doors down from Session House Clerkenwell Green'. Although no date of publication is included, the references to the politician (1778-1868) Lord Brougham suggest it was most likely printed during the 1830s.
The chapmen would have sold this broadside as a special bargain, since it contains two ballads for the price of one. The first ballad is written from the viewpoint of a man who owns a museum full of curios. In this strange ballad, the museum owner describes some of the amazing exhibits that are displayed in his museum, such as a bull rowing a boat and a minister spinning a top. In the second ballad, meanwhile, Campbell describes an elopement that took place in the Highlands. The ballad is fast-paced and full of exciting twists and turns, as it portrays the two lovers escaping from their pursuers.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Likely date of publication:
View larger image