Verse 1: 'I'm what they ca' a Johnny Raw, / Just now come frae the country, / I ken but little or nought ava / Compared wi Glasgow gentry. / Although I'm but a country loon, / And no sae lang cam to the toon, / Yet I'm no sae easy taken doun.' 'Ava' means 'at all' and 'loon' means 'man' or 'boy'.
This light-hearted ballad tells of the humorous episodes that a young man from the country (from Fintry in Stirlingshire) experiences upon moving to the big city of Glasgow. Most of these episodes centre on how city people, thinking Johnny Raw is wet behind the ears because he is from the country, try to take advantage of his innocence and honesty. However, Johnny is nobody's fool, and is quite capable of looking after himself. Although the refrain, 'Ye'll find I've seen my granny', recurs at the end of each verse, it is not clear what this phrase actually means.
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(74b)
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