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Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song to an Old Tune'


Verse 1: 'VICTORIA's doun to Embro' toun, / The Queen o' the North to see, / And a' are join'd in heart and mind / To welcome her wi' glee; / But our Duke, and Peel, that sleeky chiel, / The management hae ta'en, / And honest Leith - in spite her teeth - / She's slighted been again.' The song was to be sung to the tune 'Up, an' Waur Them A', Willie'. The broadside was priced at one penny. It does not carry the name of the publisher or the place of publication.

This ballad refers to Queen Victoria's (reign: 1838-1901) first tour of Scotland, in 1842. The narrator criticises her advisers, The Duke of Buccleuch and Robert Peel, the prime minster, for hurrying the Queen off to Edinburgh instead of encouraging her to stop and greet the crowds that had turned out for her arrival at Granton Pier. The narrator also mocks Edinburgh's Lord Provost, James Forrest, who missed the queen's entrance altogether. This incident became the subject of its own satirical ballad, 'Jemmie Forrest'. Despite the inauspicious start, Victoria's tour turned out a success, amd thereafter she became the monarch who re-established strong royal connections with Scotland.

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 date published: 1842   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(221)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song to an Old Tune'
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