The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'True Love Murdered'


This ballad begins: 'TRUE LOVE MURDERED OR A NEW DIALOGUE BETWEEN A Young GENTLEMAN and a MAID of lower Degree / To the Tune of "Fortune my Foe". / There was a worthy young Squayer / Whom a fair Damsel did love.'

Broadside ballads were cheap and easily accessible. They were often sold for a penny a sheet and covered topics which would have been instantly recognisable to the general population, such as love, marriage and poverty. They were also often used as a moral forum with 'lessons' of life included in the narrative. They were only printed on one side so that they could be pasted to walls and in this way enjoyed, momentarily and in the passing, by many people.

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.

previous pageprevious          
Probable date of publication: 1701   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(016)
Broadside ballad entitled 'True Love Murdered'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland