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Broadside ballad entitled 'Jock and the Mutch'


Verse 1: 'O, there ance liv'd a chap and they ca'd him Jock, / For mony a lang year he liv'd wi' his mother, / And by her it's he was adored like a king, / For he had neither sister nor brother.' Chorus: 'Right tooral looral, tooral looral, rant a rooral lay,'. In the title of the ballad 'mutch' refers to a 'cap'. This broadside was published in 1876 by the Poet's Box, 80 London Street, Glasgow and could be purchased for one penny.

A different version of this song is also included in the National Library of Scotland's broadside collection, under the title 'Jock Tamson's Tripe'. Whilst the humorous story of Jock and his rather unsavory meal essentially remains the same in both - he accidently eats his mother's mutch believing it to be tripe - the version seen here is three verses longer. Such variations were common and could, in this case, be attributed to regional variation, with one published in Glasgow and the other in Dundee.

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 of publication: 1876   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(123a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Jock and the Mutch'
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