This ballad begins: 'I sing the praise of Heros brave / Whose Warlike merit conquest gave, / And scorn'd to trample on a Foe, / But beat them first, then let them go: / After a Battle sharp and bloody, / Beyond the reach of Humane Study, / Obtain'd between strong Rocks & Trenches, / By dint of Sword, and vast expences'. The sheet was printed around 1719, by R. Thomas in London. It was also reprinted in Edinburgh.
This ballad was written after the 'little uprising' at Glenshiel in 1719, when an army of Jacobites under General Wightman and the 10th Earl Marischal were thwarted at Glenshiel by Hanoverian government forces. The ballad mocks the Jacobite army's claims that they escaped with no casualties, even though the battle raged for hours, and exalts the government forces for showing mercy.
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 published:
1719-1745 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(127)
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