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Broadside ballad entitled 'In Praise of Antiquarianism'


This ballad is sung to the tune of 'Auld Langsyne' and begins: 'THERE'S mony a chield at us that jeers, / That coudna tell you why; / But ay a smirk his visage wears, / Gin ane o' us gae by.' No publication details have been included on this sheet.

Through their understanding and appreciation of the more impressive aspects of classical civilisation, Antiquarians played an integral part in the formation of the Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. This ballad has been written in praise of their work, and in each verse the Antiquarians pit themselves against the various noble professions. Concerned that they might at first appear insignificant, the Antiquarians defend themselves admirably by highlighting the intrinsic nature of their work and the vital role it plays in all facets of life.

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(098)
Broadside ballad entitled 'In Praise of Antiquarianism'
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