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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lasses' Answer'


Verse 1: 'Farewell to Glasgow, / Likewise to Lanarkshire, / And Farewell my dearest parents, / For I'llne'er see you mair; / For the want of pocket money, / And for the want of cash, / Makes mony a bonny laddie / To leave his bonny lass.' The broadside was published by James Lindsay of King Street in Gasgow. It is not dated.

This song is about a young man forced by poverty to leave his country and the woman he loves to join the army. This was a common topic in broadside ballads, and 'The Bonnie Lasses' Answer' was clearly a popular example of the genre, that was reprinted by various broadside publishers. This version includes a woodcut illustration to make it attractive to audiences. The title refers to the final line of the chorus, when the 'Bonnie Lass' cries 'no, no' in response to her sweetheart's decision to leave.

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 period of publication: 1860-1890   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(078)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lasses' Answer'
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