Verse 1: ' BLyth Jockie young and gay, / Is all my hearts delight, / He's all my talk by Day, / And in my Dreams by night. / If from the Lad I be, / It's Winter then with me, / But when he's with me here, / 'Tis Summer all the year.' The text under the title reads, 'A song much in Request' and 'To an Excellent new Tune'. The name of the publisher has not been included.
A popular song, this would have already been known to a large section of the broadside-buying public. This version, however, was to be sung to a new tune. With no musical notation supplied, people relied on the chapmen and patterers who were selling the broadsides to sing the ballads as they wandered through the streets. This enabled people to familiarise themselves with the melody and also, in a society where literacy was by no means universal, memorise the words.
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: S.302.b.2(084)
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