Verse 1: 'There was a young squire in the north country we hear, / Was courting a Nobleman's daughter so dear, / Now, for to marry her, it was his intent, / All friends and relations did give their consent.'
The pitting of true love against social obligations or expectations was a common theme in ballads from the earliest times. In this ballad a young nobleman's daughter is expected to marry a squire of her own class, although she is secretly in love with a farmer from a lower social order. True love conquers here, mainly due to the girl's cunning in giving the farmer the golden glove that will determine who she is to marry. Such a manipulation of fate is an unusual twist to a familiar ballad topic.
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:
1830-1860 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(140b)
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