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Broadside ballad entitled 'Pretty Little Nell'


This broadside begins: 'LADY'S VERSION OF / PRETTY LITTLE NELL / THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER. / Written and Composed expressly for / Miss NELL MOONEY, / By Mr James A. Kerr, Edinburgh. / Air. PRETTY NELL.' The ballad begins: 'Now I am not a fast young lady, / Nor do I lead a fashionable life'.

There are no publication details included on this sheet, although the author and commission details, more unusually, have been given. It would appear that the song was written by James Kerr, who may also be the un-named 'gent' in the song, to the 'farmer's daughter Nell' in the lyrics. The song may have been published to attract Nell's attention, as a celebration of their relationship. Perhaps the information was only included as a marketing ploy, to tug at the readers' heart-strings and lend an air of innocent romance to the sheet.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable period of publication: 1860-1890   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(118)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Pretty Little Nell'
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