Verse 1: 'Two little boys, whose pallid looks / Bespoke them worn with care, / Came to a house in Haddington, / And ask'd for lodgings there.' The name of the publisher is not included and the sheet is not dated.
Opening with a sermon-like introduction, this instructional broadside is all about the strength that a person can possess if they believe in God. To spread the message, the sheet employs a sentimental narrative concerning two small boys from London, who heroically journey through a godless wilderness to Haddington, Edinburgh.These orphans, whose parents were killed by a fever, are offered six shilling for their sole possession, a bible. However, the boys claim that they would rather starve than sell their bible. The moral of the tale seems to be that those who place their faith in the Lord will be provided for.
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 date of publication:
1835 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(111)
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