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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Old Arm Chair'


This ballad begins: 'I love it, I love it, and who shall dare / To chide me for loving that old arm chair: / I've treasured it long as a noble prize, / I've bedewed it with tears, and embalmed it with sighs'. It was published by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow, and probably sold for one penny.

A woodcut illustration has been included of a well-dressed woman sitting on an armchair, with a younger woman at her side. This would have added to the appeal of this particular sheet, and probably helped sales.

The armchair in this ballad replaces the sweetheart as an object of affection. Whilst the owner of the armchair laments the death of his or her mother whilst sitting in the chair, an undying and desperate love for the chair is declared: 'But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear / My soul from loving that old arm chair'. By choosing to idolise an old armchair, the author parodies the traditional themes of tragic and unrequited love found in so many ballads.

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Probable date of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(022)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Old Arm Chair'
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