Verse 1 begins: 'My bonnie Meg, my jo, Meg, / When we were first acquaint, / A tighter hizzy never brush'd / The dew frae aff the bent'. The woodcut at the top of the sheet shows a well-to-do couple, seemingly arguing, in what appears to be a parlour.
This sheet deals with a common broadside topic - a shrewish wife. The husband is still very much in love with his wife, Meg, but he makes it clear that she is a much changed person compared to her youthful self. He does not, however, mention his own behaviour over the years or in their present situation, although he does refer to having made it through some tough times.
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(105)
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