Verse 1: 'Bonnie Mary in the ewe buchts is gane / To milk her father's ewes, / And aye as she sang her bonnie voice it rung / Right over the top of the knowes.' The name of the publisher is not included and the sheet is not dated. An 'ewe bucht' is a pen for keeping sheep in.
This broadside ballad is dedicated to celebrating the beauty of a country lass. Given the simple theme of a beautiful, young country lass being completely in tune with the nature all around her, the ballad was probably written during the Romantic era, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. With regard to narrative, the ballad is structured around several episodes that occur as a result of a young gentleman's infatuation with the young woman. Many broadsides such as this are held in the National Library of Scotland's collection.
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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