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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Wanderer'


Verse 1: 'O cease ye a while ye winds to blow, / O cease ye murmuring streams to flow! / Be still! Be hush'd every rude noise! / I think I hear my true Love's voice.' The broadside was published by McIntosh of 96 King Street, Calton, Glasgow. It is illustrated with a woodcut of a Scottish soldier.

'The Wanderer' is a very popular title for ballads, and reflects the romantic connotations that travelling often has in literature, music and art, and also the theme of separation which is common in love songs and poems. This broadside is a folk derivative of the song "Cease a while ye winds to blow," published by J. C. Bach in "The Third collection of favorite songs sung at Vaux-Hall" (London: Welcker, [1771]). The source of the lyric is unknown. The lyric used by 'London' Bach was printed in "Vocal Music, or the Songster's Companion" (London: J. Bew, 1778?) and later compendia, and was set in four parts by the American composer Jacob French, to a tune he named "Attention," in "New American Melody" (Boston: John Norman, 1789).
Usually the 'wanderer' or traveller in such songs is a man, who has joined the armed forces or gone away to look for work or simply to experience the world, and the narrator is a bereft woman left at home. In this example, the female narrator is listening for her lover to come home, and begins to fear that he may have been lost in a storm.

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: 1849-   shelfmark: RB.m.169(209)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Wanderer'
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