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Broadside ballad entitled 'Jeanie Deans'


Verse 1: 'Far awa' frae bonnie Scotland, / I have often spent my time, / By the mountains, lakes, and valleys, / In some distant foreign clime. / There I'd sit and sometimes ponder. / 'Midst their bright and varied scenes; / But my thoughts would always wander / To the hame o' Jeanie Deans.' The note 'Music at JAS. S. KERR'S, 314 Paisley Rd., Glasgow' is included under the title.

Jeanie Deans was the heroine of Sir Walter's Scott's novel, 'The Heart of Midlothian' (1818). Her story is outlined in this song and Scott is given recognition for his part in her creation. The character of Jeanie Deans was loosely based on Helen Walker who did indeed walk to London to obtain a pardon for her sister who was imprisoned for murdering her child.

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(118b)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Jeanie Deans'
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