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Broadside ballad entitled 'My Ain Fireside'


Verse 1: 'Come, my lads, let us mount and go, / For I'm going home, will ye gang or no? / For the drink's a' done; and the reckonings paid, / And I'm going home to my ain fire-side.' The publisher of this broadside was Muir, but the town and the date of publication are not cited.

'My Ain Fireside' may be intended to share the same melody as the celebrated song of the same name by Elizabeth Hamilton (1758-1816), but the subject matter of this song is far earthier. Hamilton's 'My Ain Fireside' celebrates humilty economy and sobriety, themes taken further in her didactic novel, The Cottagers of Glenburnie' (1808). By contrast, the song on this broadside advocates enjoying a drink, or several drinks, as long as they are not taken at the expense of a happy home life.

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: 1860-1880   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(144b)
Broadside ballad entitled 'My Ain Fireside'
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