The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Dainty Geordie'


Verse 1: 'Now here we're met to tak our glass, / And a' our party-jars suppress, / An' wi' ae mouth a' to confess, / That we like dainty Geordie.' This ballad was sung to the tune of 'Dainty Davie', written by Robert Burns.

This ballad is a boisterous drinking song, satirically dedicated to King George III (b. 1738-1820), who is informally referred to in the song as 'Geordie'. Drinking a toast to kings and queens (Hanoverian or Jacobite) was a highly contentious issue throughout the eighteenth century. The ballad celebrates the longevity of King George, though in a slightly ironic and non-deferential tone, and compares him favourably with Britain's main enemy at the time, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). As the ballad is not openly critical of King George, it would have escaped being censored.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1810-1825   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(135a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Dainty Geordie'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland