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Broadside ballad entitled 'Building Castles in the Air'


Verse 1 begins: 'The bonnie, bonnie bairn, wha sits poking the ase, / Glowering in the fire wi' his wee roun' face'. This sheet was published by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow. The illustration over the title is a woodcut of a little boy cuddling a goat, in what appears to be a yard.

James Lindsay, printer, stationer and supplier, is known to have worked from 9 King Street between 1852 and 1859. The National Library of Scotland's collection contains a good number of sheets from Lindsay's press and he appears to have been a prolific broadside producer. Many of his sheets include woodcuts which would have added to the perceived value of the sheet greatly - a good marketing ploy.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(036)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Building Castles in the Air'
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