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


Verse 1 begins: '[VI]CTORIA doun to Embro' toun, / Queen o' the North to see, / And a' are joined in heart and mind'. The song should be sung to the tune 'Up, An' Waur Them A', Willie' and would have sold for a penny a copy.

Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland in 1842 after the precedent was set by George IV in 1822. She was officially welcomed to her Northern Kingdom in Edinburgh, although the procession did not go entirely smoothly here. Stands collapsed, there was a dangerous security mix-up and one of Scotland's earls was run over by her carriage! These incidents, however, already added to the already prolific volume of material written in her honour - such as this anonymous poem.

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: 1842   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(130)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song to an Old Tune'
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