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Broadside ballad entitled 'Blue Bonnets Are Over the Border'


Verse 1 begins: 'MARCH ! march ! Ettrick and Teviot-dale ! / Why my lads dinna ye march forward in orders?' It was published by T. Birt of 10 Great St Andrew Street, London. It is also noted that the song was greatly enjoyed by audiences when Mr Braham was performing.

'Blue Bonnets Over the Border' is a famous Scottish ballad which refers to Bonnie Prince Charlie's march into England in 1745. A blue bonnet or beret was a traditional piece of highland dress and due to the large highland composition of the Jacobite Army became associated with their faction. This was taken one stage further by affixing a white cockade to it, which was an official emblem of Jacobite affiliation. Today the march is still a popular military anthem, although it is especially favoured in Canada.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: RB.m.168(056)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Blue Bonnets Are Over the Border'
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