Verse 1: 'The Whigs hae taken the field, Edie, / The Whigs hae taken the field, / We maun strain every nerve, / Our Party to serve, / And force our opponents to yield, Edie, / We maun blin the enemy's een, Edie, / We maun blin the enemy's een, / While we cry 'Dinna pledge,' / Let us try to engage, / As mony's we can while unseen, Edie.'
Written in the lofty style of a martial epic, this political ballad is written from the viewpoint of the Whig Party, as they seek to challenge the Tories and the Radicals. It seems likely that the obscure title for the ballad is a reference to a poem by Robert Southey (1774-1843), who, due to his toadying to the Establishment, was a much-ridiculed poet laureate. Roderick, Last of the Goths, was the last in the Visigothic line of kings in Spain, being dethroned by the African Moors in 711.
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 period of publication:
1880-1900 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(103a)
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