This broadside begins: 'WRITTEN FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE Majority of THE EARL OF DALKEITH 9TH September 1852'. This ballad begins: 'CHEER! Cheer! Ettrick and Teviotdale ; / Let hill and dale echo cheers hearty and true'. This broadside was published by James Dalgleish of the High Street, Hawick, and probably sold for one penny. It includes a decorative border and slogans supporting the Earl.
At a time of great political reform, when people were protesting against the power of the landed classes, it is quite interesting to find this tribute to a member of one of the most powerful landed families in Scotland. The song appears to be a pastiche of Sir Walter Scott's 'Blue Bonnets Over the Border', the chorus of which begins: 'March! March! Ettrick and Teviotdale'. The song was probably written by William Hobkirk.
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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