This ballad begins: 'VAliant Jockey's march'd away, / To fight the foe, with great Makcay, / Leaving me poor Soul, Alas! Forlorn, / To curse the hour I e'er was born:' A brief explanation under the title reads, 'Being a Valient Ladies Resolution to fight in Field ; by the side of Jockey her Entire Love; With his answer to it'. It was intended to be sung 'To an excellent New Tune'.
Whilst there are many ballads, from the female perspective, which lament the departure of a loved one into battle, this ballad is sung by a woman who is not content to remain at home but, instead, wishes to fight alongside her 'dearest Jockey'. Whilst Jockey, in his reply, commends her bravery and loyalty, he pleads with her to stay at home. The ballad is set during the Battle of Killiecrankie (1689), when Viscount Dundee - 'Bonnie Dundee' - led Jacobite forces against supporters of William of Orange led by General Sir Hugh Mackay.
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 published:
1700 shelfmark: S.302.b.2(082)
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