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Broadside ballad entitled 'Bonnie Jeanie Deans'


Verse 1: 'Far awa' frae bonnie Scotland, / I have often spent my time, / By the mountains, lakes, and valleys, / In some distant, foreign clime. / There I'd sit and sometimes ponder. / 'Midst their bright and varied scenes, / But my thoughts would always wander / To the hame o' Jeanie Deans.' 'BARR, LONDON STREET, GLASGOW' is printed at the bottom of the sheet.

Jeanie Deans, 'the cow-feeder's daughter', was the heroine of Walter Scott's 'The Heart of Midlothan' (1818). This song outlines her journey on foot to London to obtain a pardon for her sister, Effie. At least one other version of this broadside, entitled 'Jeanie Deans', can be found 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: 1880-1900   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(119a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Bonnie Jeanie Deans'
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