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Broadside ballad entitled 'A Song, Innerleithen Well'


The first verse reads: 'O FAIR Innerleithen, and the River Tweed, / Whose beauty by nature, all art doth exceed, / Of this pleasing village, there's many heard tell, / And so have come here, to drink of our Well.' It was to be sung to the tune of 'The Blaeberries' and was published by W. Reid of Leith. Included at the top of the sheet is a woodcut illustration.

The picturesque town of Innerleithen is nestled in the Tweed Valley, approximately six miles east of Peebles. In the nineteenth century it was a popular spa town, where people flocked to experience the curative properties of the mineral spring. The inspiration for Walter Scott's fictional spa town of St Ronan's is said to have been Innerleithen. Soon after the publication of Scott's book, 'St Ronan's Well' (1823), the name was adopted for the Innerleithen well.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable period of publication: 1840-1860   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(047)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A Song, Innerleithen Well'
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