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Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song to an Old Tune'


This ballad begins: '[VI]CTORIA's doun to Embro' toun, / The Queen o' the North to see, / And a' are join'd in heart and mind / To welcome her wi' glee'. It was to be sung to the tune of 'Up, an' Waur them a', Willie', and cost one penny to buy.

This ballad appears to revolve around the reception Queen Victoria received upon her arrival in Edinburgh, during her 1842 tour of Scotland. Although the Lord Provost, James Forrest, was meant to lead a welcoming party to greet the sovereign, there was some confusion over the date of her arrival and they failed to make an appearance. In this 'New Song' the rather unfortunate incident is blamed on the actions of the then Prime Minister, Robert Peel (1788-1850). The ballad goes on to attack some of the reforms that were introduced by Peel during his time as home secretary and prime minister.

The song is a parody of the traditional Jacobite ballad 'Up and Warn A', Wullie', which, according to Robert Burns, was the warning of a Highland clan to arms. It was referred to by Lowlanders as 'Up and Waur Them A', Willie', and in this version has been changed to 'Up an' rin awa' Robie'.

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Probable date published: 1842-   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(150)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song to an Old Tune'
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