This broadside begins: 'An Excellent New BALLAD Concerning a Bridegroom and his Bride, who were lately married at Borrowstounness, giving a full and true Account of their Behaviour, and of the Bridegroom's running away from the Bride the same Night, without bedding with her. The ballad is sung to the tune of 'Sheriff-Moor' and begins: 'NOW if you'l but stay, I'll tell you the Way, / It's how the Bridgeroom ran awa-- Man'.
The ballad follows the tale of a bridegroom who abandons his bride on their wedding night. Believing himself to have been duped into marrying a penniless bride, he refuses to consummate the marriage and leaves her. This was particularly important since an annulment could be obtained if the marriage was unconsummated. This fast-paced romp appears on another broadside in the National Library of Scotland's collection, decorated with two woodcut illustrations.
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:
1720- shelfmark: RB.I.106(095)
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