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Broadside ballad entitled 'The New way, of the Bonny Highland Laddie'


This ballad begins: 'I crossed Forth, I crossed Tay, / I left Dundee, and Edinborrow, / I saw nothing there worth my Stay, / and so I bad them all Good-morrow . . . ' Below the title, a note states that this ballad is sung 'To it's own Proper Tune &c'.

Narrated by a young woman, this romantic ballad tells the story of her love for a 'Bonny Highland Laddie'. The narrator describes the clothes her beloved wears, and mentions how she would love to wrap him up in her plaid. Following this, she defiantly states how his lowly rank is of no consequence to her, such is the degree of her love for him. The young woman concludes her ballad by announcing that, once they had arrived in Stirling for their marriage, her 'tocher' (a woman's dowry) consisted of being lovingly embraced up by him in his own Highland plaid.

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: 1701-   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(089)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The New way, of the Bonny Highland Laddie'
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