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Broadside ballad entitled 'Now Jenny Lass My Bonny Bird'


This ballad begins: 'Now Jenny lass, my bonny bird / My daddy's dead an' a' that, / He's snugly laid a-neath the yaird, / An' I'm his heir an' a' that.' The name of the publisher is not included and the sheet is not dated.

The light-hearted verses to this broadside ballad tell the story of a young male suitor whose father has just died, leaving him the financial security to woo his beloved Jenny. After humorously regaling his lover with the inventory of his father?s worldly possessions bequeathed to him, the young man adopts a serious tone as he states his love for Jenny. In response to hearing of this wealth, Jenny puts her hand in his hand and, symbolically, the 'he' and 'she' of the ballad change to 'they'. Many romantic broadside ballads such as this are held in the National Library of Scotland's collection.

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.70(5b)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Now Jenny Lass My Bonny Bird'
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