This ballad begins: 'Ye Muses nine with me combine, assist my slender quill, / And my weary notions at every line [I] fill, / My name is Pat M'Guire how can I conceal, / By the cruelties of Mary Keys I lie in Lifford Jail.' It was published by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow, and includes a woodcut illustration of a group of well-dressed individuals surrounding a clergyman.
The ballad of Pat McGuire also appears on another broadside contained in the National Library of Scotland's collection, albeit a slightly different version in which McGuire's accuser is named Mary Caze rather than Mary Keys. Both do, however, follow McGuire's plight and his efforts to be freed from Lifford Jail.
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:
1852-1859 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(030)
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