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Broadside ballad entitled 'Praise of the Weavers'


This ballad begins: 'O Vow was there ever seen, / So many Weavers stout and keen / With Cluted Coats and riven Shoon / at Geordie Malice Brithel.' The text preceding it reads: 'TO THE / Praise of the Weavers / GIVING AN / Account of their behaviour at a Wedding in Elgin of Murray. / to its own proper Tune.'

The names Gordon and Murray are mentioned in this rather violent but hilariously recounted wedding day. Perhaps there is the suggestion of continued family rivalry which was prevalent among the close-knit but extended families of Northern Scotland. Weavers were also notorious for their aggressive bad behaviour. They were well-paid for craftsmen but they had to defend their livelihood against foreign imports. This often led to public clashes with the authorities.

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 of publication: 1701   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(078)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Praise of the Weavers'
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