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

Broadside ballad entitled 'The Charming Young Widow I Meet in The Train'


Verse 1 begins: 'I live in Falkirk and one morning last summer / A letter informed me my uncle was dead'. No publication details have been included on this sheet.

This charmingly eloquent lecture, warns unsuspecting and kind gentleman about the wiles of women, whilst travelling. A young woman, with what turns out to be a dummy baby, poses on public transport as a widow. Then whilst crying against their shoulder about her situation, relieves gentlemen of all their valuables and leaves them holding the baby! There are many broadsides which warn more na´ve citizens against charming women pick-pockets.

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 period of publication: 1850-1870   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(071)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Charming Young Widow I Meet in The Train'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland