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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Irish Girl'


Verse 1 begins: 'As I walked out one evening down by the river side, / I gazed around me and an Irish girl I spied'. This sheet was published by James Lindsay of 11 King Street, Glasgow (1860-90). The top of the sheet carries a woodcut of a young, simply dressed girl carrying a bird cage and looking at an odd looking cat.

This ballad deals with the popular broadside theme of the pain of love and the misbehaviour of lovers. There is also an odd reference at the end where the reader is supposed to wish themselves to the green pastures of Manchester. Lindsay published many broadsides on an Irish theme, suggesting that one of his authors, or even he himself, had Irish connections.

Broadsides are often crudely illustrated with woodcuts - the earliest form of printed illustration, first used in the mid-fifteenth century. Inclusion of an illustration on a broadside increased its perceived value, especially among the illiterate. To keep costs down, publishers would normally reuse their limited stock of generic woodcuts. The woodcut used here can also be found on another Lindsay broadside entitled 'Mary's Dream'.

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Probable period of publication: 1860-1890   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(065)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Irish Girl'
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