This ballad begins: 'Though far from thee, my mountain home, / my mountain home I love thee still, / As when my light steps were wont to roam, / To wander o'er my native hill, / I'll ne'er forget the happy lays, / Sung at evening's welcome hour, / Now the thought of Childhood's days, / Sheds a soft and soothing power.'
There is no indication on the broadside of where this song originates. The fact that it is held in a Scottish collection and that it refers to mountainous country might lead one to assume that it is a Scottish song, but this is not necessarily the case. Broadside ballads published in Scotland sometimes originated in the United States, reflecting increasing trans-Atlantic travel. Many more originated in Ireland, reflecting the large numbers of Irish immigrants to Lowland Scotland during the industrial revolution. Whatever its origins, this ballad's sentiments of native pride and evocative natural imagery would probably have guaranteed its popularity: these were common themes in broadside ballads.
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:
1860-1880 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(082)
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