These ballads begin: 'Good people all pray give attention, / Some simple facts I'm going to mention' and 'As I walked out one morning fair, all in the summer time, / Each bush and tree was dressed in green & valleys in their prime.' The publisher of the broadside was James Lindsay of King Street in Glasgow.
The first of these two songs is probably a reaction to an incident from 1853, when the paddle steamer 'Emperor' was banned from making Sunday cruises on the Clyde after a court battle waged by the landowner Sir James Colquhoun. Previously Sir James and his supporters in Garelochhead had physically tried to prevent tourists from disembarking from the 'Emperor' onto Colquhoun land. 'The Dawning of the Day' is a non-locally specific ballad about a girl young who is seduced and abandoned. This was a common ballad theme.
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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