Verse 1: 'Oh, ye needna be courtin' at me, auld man, / Ye needna be courtin' at me; / Ye're threescore and three, and ye're blin' o' an e'e / Sae ye needna be courtin' at me, auld man, / Ye needna be courtin' at me.'
The question of whether it is wiser to marry for money or for love is at the heart of this popular song. This was a recurring theme in songs and novels in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The verses are narrated alternatingly by the 'sweet lass', who is already in love with a 'laddie', and the 'auld man', who is trying to tempt her with his 'gowd' or gold. The girl's determination holds firm in the end, and the broadside printer's sympathies also seem to lie with her, given the unflattering illustration of the 'auld man' on this broadside.
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:
1880-1900 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(37a)
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