Verse 1: 'Where has Scotland found her fame, / Why is she enshrined in story, / By the deed of many a name, / Sing the theme of deathless story. / By her mountains wild and grand, / By her lakes so calmly flowing, / By her peace that rules the land; / And her hearts so truly glowing.' The publication details of this broadside have been obscured.
The print quality of this broadside indicates that it is almost certainly from the nineteenth century, when Scotland's international profile was at its greatest. The romantic movement in the arts was interested in the picturesque and in the notion of the 'noble savage', and Scotland produced literature, in James Macpherson's 'Ossian' poems and Walter Scott's novels, that drew on the Highland landscape and Scottish clan history and mythology, making the authors international bestsellers. Simultaneously, Scotland was becoming a world leader in developing industrial technology. The ballad is thus justified in claiming that Scotland's fame lies in 'art', 'science' and 'romantic story'.
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:
1870-1890 shelfmark: L.C.1269(159b)
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