The first ballad begins: 'Be mine, dear maid, this faithful heart, / Can never prove untrue'. The second ballad begins: 'There's ne'er a nook in a' the land / That William rules sae well'. The third ballad begins: 'It was upon a Lammas night, / When corn rigs are bonny'. The fourth ballad begins: 'Ye banks, and braes, and streams around, / The Castle o' Montgomery'.
The four songs on this broadside were probably widely popular at the time of publication. 'Highland Mary', Robert Burns's tribute to his lover Mary Campbell who died aged only twenty-three, is still very well known today. Likewise 'Amang the Rigs o' Barley' is a Burns lyric that is still widely recited today, and was included in the cult British film 'The Wicker Man'. 'Dumbarton's Bonnie Dell' is not well known today but was apparently written in the nineteenth century by someone named Meineke and dedicated to a Mrs Robert A. Taylor. 'Ye banks and braes' is also a well-known Robert Burns composition.
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 period of publication:
1840-1850 shelfmark: L.C.1270(001)
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