This ballad begins: 'Loud the cries are ringin', ringin, / Cheery ringing' up and down, / Short but sweet the sang that's singin, / Blythely through Auld Reekie's Toon.'
Bringing together the individual cries of market traders selling their wares, this broadside ballad gives the reader - and listener - a vivid aural impression of what the streets of Edinburgh must have sounded like between 150-200 years ago. The list of country produce, fish and drinks that were available in the marketplace of 'Auld Reekie', also tells us much about the various foodstuffs that people could buy. Many interesting 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(7a)
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