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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lasses' Answer'


Verse 1 begins: 'Farewell to Glasgow, / Likewise to Lanarkshire, / And farewell my dearest parents, / For I'll ne'er see you mair'. This sheet was published by James Lindsay of 11 King Street, Glasgow. The woodcut at the top of the sheet depicts a small town with three women standing talking together in the street.

This song deals with the common broadside theme of young lovers and their trials and tribulations. Here, the man feels that because he is poor he must leave his love. The only job which he can find is to leave Scotland as a soldier for the government. The girl is greatly vexed by the entire situation but, seeing that her lover will not be moved, offers to cross-dress and follow him into the army. The theme of disguised women entering men's professions, a well-attested reality in many cases, was also very popular on broadsides. It appears that this sort of adventure was appealing to the popular imagination.

Broadsides, cheap and accessible, were often used as moral forums with 'lessons of life' included in the narrative. Broadside authors tended to see themselves as moral guardians and teachers in society. As such, publishers often disseminated 'educational' texts outlining the social and personal consequences of undisciplined or immoral behaviour.

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Probable period of publication: 1860-1890   shelfmark: RB.m.168(063)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lasses' Answer'
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