Verse 1: 'Hey, Jemmie Forrest, are ye waukin' yet? / Or are your Bailies snoring yet? / If ye were waukin' I would wait, / Ye'd hae a merry, merry morning.' Half of a woodcut illustration can be seen at the top of the sheet, although the top half of it has been ripped off at some point. It would probably have depicted a coach and pair.
Jemmie Forrest was the Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1842, the year in which Queen Victoria completed her tour of her Scottish realm. Unfortunately for Jemmie there were one or two incidents which caused the city a little embarrassment during her stay. Stands had been set up in Edinburgh so that citizens could view the sovereign's procession. One of these collapsed - killing two people and injuring about 48 more. The Earl of Errol was run over by the Queen's carriage. There was also a security mix-up and the Queen's bodyguards and the city guards became involved in a brawl thus endangering everyone's lives.
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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