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Broadside ballad entitled 'An Excellent New Song. Young Jamie Aytoun'


This ballad begins: 'BOBBY J______N. / There's young Jamie Aytoun that wins in Milne's Court, / He's a man o' the regular radical sort, / Has fourscore ten pounders, and fourscore too - / An' young Jamie Aytoun's the member for you.' It was to be sung to the tune 'Auld Rob Morris'. The broadside does not carry the name of its publisher, nor the place or date of publication.

The ballad on this broadside is structured as a dialogue between 'Bobby J_____n' and 'Auld Reekie', and its subject is James Aytoun (1797-1881) of Kirkcaldy, who was a Radical candidate for Stirling in the 1841 General Election. Auld Reekie is a nickname for the city of Edinburgh, and the verses spoken by 'Auld Reekie', which are highly critical of Aytoun's politics and his looks, are probably meant to represent the majority opinion in Edinburgh. Aytoun was ultimately unsuccessful in his campaign.

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: 1841-   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(067)
Broadside ballad entitled 'An Excellent New Song. Young Jamie Aytoun'
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