This ballad begins: 'Ho! ho, Mr Aytoun, so now it turns out, / You're only a Tory who's turned his coat; / Since a Yeoman at Airdrie no Whig you'ld endure, / And Radicals slaughter'd at sad Bonnymuir.' A note below the title states that this song should be sung to the tune, 'Mr Orator Puff'. Unfortunately, no publication details are included on the sheet, though it was probably published in the 1830s.
With its references to Whigs and Tories, it is clear that this is a political ballad. Irreverent and satirical in tone, the writer spotlights the hypocritical and corrupt nature of James Aytoun, (1797-1881) whom it accuses of masquerading as a Whig. In targeting Lord Castlereagh and the yeomanry for their collusion, the author is perhaps alluding to the slaughters of protesting Radicals at Peterloo (1819) and Bonnymuir (1820). James Aytoun was a prominent Radical politician in Edinburgh in the 1830s.
The National Library of Scotland holds another ballad relating to this incident, entitled 'Mr Aytoun's Campaign Against the Airdrie Radicals'.
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Probable period of publication:
1830-1840 shelfmark: RB.m.143(184)
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