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Broadside ballads entitled 'The Blackbird' and 'My Name is Duncan Campbell'


This broadside contains two separate ballads. The first ballad begins: 'Upon a fair morning for soft recreation, / I heard a fair lady was making her moan, / With sighing and sobbing and sad lamentation, / Saying, my blackbird most royal is flown.'

The opening verse of the second ballad reads: 'My name's Duncan Campbell, from the shire of Argyle, / I have travelled this country for many a long mile; / I have travelled through England, and Ireland, and a', / And the name I go by is bold Erin-go-bragh.' This sheet was published by James Kay of Glasgow, whose business was located at 179 Argyll Street in 1844.

Employing imagery from nature in a romantic manner, the narrator of the first ballad appears to tell the sad tale of a young lady's missing blackbird, and his epic search for the exiled bird in Spain and France. This lament is an allegorical ballad in support of the exiled Jacobites, however, since the blackbird is a symbol for Charles Edward Stuart (1720-88). The second ballad tells of a Campbell from Argyllshire who, during a visit to Edinburgh, ends up assaulting a policeman who tries to arrest him on suspicion of being Irish. Immigrants from Ireland were mostly Catholic and poor, and suffered years of discrimination from the Scottish Establishment, which was staunchly anti-Catholic.

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Probable period of publication: 1840-1850   shelfmark: L.C.1270(003)
Broadside ballads entitled 'The Blackbird' and 'My Name is Duncan Campbell'
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