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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Grand Ascendency'


The chorus is printed first, it reads: 'Oh! this is now our ain house, / Cleanse it frae vermin 'a, / Lean'na in our ain house / One reptile in the wa'.' The first verse begins: 'Lang hae we sigh'd---lang hae we pray'd'. It is to be sung to the tune of 'This is no mine ain House'. The sheet was published by Caldwell, a family firm which operated out of Paisley from the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century. A woodcut, seemingly unrelated to the ballad, adorns the top of the sheet.

It is likely that this broadside was published around 1840, about the time when Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901) married her German cousin, Prince Albert, a member of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family. This broadside suggests that among some ordinary people, who were suffering as a result of the Corn Laws and a general downturn in the economy, the pomp and ceremony of her wedding to this 'foreigner' caused outrage.

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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Likely date of publication: 1840-1845   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(011)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Grand Ascendency'
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