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Broadside ballad entitled 'Sweet Annie o' the Winding Dee'


Verse 1, to be sung to an original tune: ' Wild flowers may deck the verdant vale, / And perfume sweet the balmy gale, / They ne'er can be compar'd to thee, / Dear Annie o' the winding Dee . . .' It is not clear why the text after 'Poet's Box' has been scratched out, perhaps it was an address which had changed.

The place of publication is not mentioned although we are told the publisher was the Poet's Box. Several towns had firms who called themselves by that name and the most prolific was based in Glasgow. It is not clear what the connection between the different Poet?s Boxes were. They almost certainly sold each other?s sheets. It is known that John Sanderson in Edinburgh often wrote to the Leitches in Glasgow for songs and that later his brother Charles obtained copies of songs from the Dundee Poet?s Box. There was also a Poet?s Box in Belfast from 1846 to 1856 at the address of the printer James Moore, and one at Paisley in the early 1850s, owned by William Anderson. This penny broadside is dated as precisely as the morning of Saturday, May 24th 1856. Also included is a list of new songs available, some of which are still sung today, such as 'Whisky in the Jar'.

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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Date published: 1856-   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(20a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Sweet Annie o' the Winding Dee'
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