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

Broadside ballad entitled 'Whistling Sannie'


This ballad begins: 'The laverock mounts the airy sky, / And pours his sweetest notes on high, / They charm the wanderer's ear gaun by, / But no sae much as Sannie, O!' The chorus begins: 'Then hey for Sannie, clever chiel, / Then hoy for Sannie, famed fu' weel'.

This ballad is a tribute to 'Whistling Sannie', who could pit his tuneful talents against those of the sweetest songbirds. It is a glowing testament not only to his abilities, but also to his character.

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: 1860-1890   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(094)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Whistling Sannie'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland