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Broadside entitled 'And Ilka Mearns Man and Bairn, My Parody and Song Shall Learn'


This ballad is prefaced by a text which reads: 'CHRISTOPHER NORTH, the redoubtable editor of Blackwood, the only well-blown organ of aristocracy, has been parodying Lord Byron, of radical memory, to cut a squib on a certain R.H. Baron of Exchequer, and the Clerk of the Pipe, (a Scotch sinecure, gifted by a benevolent Tory to the man,) who has turned out the independent Member for Leith. MEN OF THE MEARNS! Would not the following do for Mr THOS. BURNETT, Reformer, heir apparent to a Baronetcy, your Candidate?' The sheet contains no publication details.

This ballad is a satire on Tom Burnett, a Whig parliamentary candidate for the Mearns, south of Aberdeen. The verse form and imagery are a parody of Lord Byron's poem 'The Destruction of Sennacherib'. The introduction reveals that the idea for the parody came from John Wilson or 'Christopher North', editor of Blackwood's Magazine, who had composed a similar parody satirising a political candidate for Leith. It is a fitting coincidence that Byron was a native of Aberdeenshire.

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: 1830-1850   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(073a)
Broadside entitled 'And Ilka Mearns Man and Bairn, My Parody and Song Shall Learn'
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