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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Birth of Young Ned'


Verse 1: 'It was on the ninth of November, / Eighteen hundred and forty-one, / Our beautiful Queen you'll remember, / Did behold her first-born son. / All the young ladies of honour, / As they did approach near her bed, / Did praise the great Bountiful Donor, / That rais'd up a Prince called Ned.'

'The Birth of Young Ned' is a song ostensibly celebrating the birth of Queen Victoria's first son, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910). In the final three verses, however, the words become critical of the public cost of the new prince's upkeep. The song's concerns about the morality of tax-payers financing the prince's lifestyle were quite prophetic: denied any public role by his mother, the adult Prince Edward became notorious for an extravagant lifestyle of gambling, drinking, fine eating and womanising.

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 date of publication: 1841-   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(136b)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Birth of Young Ned'
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