The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Speech of the Town's Officers'


The title continues: '(TAKEN FROM THE ORIGINAL) / Signed by Themselves, / AND MAY BE SEEN BY APPLYING TO THE PROPER AUTHORITY. / TUNE - There's nae Luck about this House.' Verse 1 begins: 'NOW clerk count o'er the Council Board'. It was published by J. Booth, Junior, of Charlotte Street, Aberdeen.

The tune to this song also goes by the name, 'Washing Day', and was originally made popular by Allan Ramsay of Ayr as a whisky toast. (The tune was probably written by Jean Adams and has also been attributed to William Mickle in the 18th century). John Booth is thought to have worked in Aberdeen mainly as a newspaper journalist, between 1806 and 1826. There were periods, however, where he worked for himself, and certainly the topic of this piece would have appealed to a contemporary journalist. Here, comments are being passed, and aspersions cast, on the city's councillors and burgessmen.

Broadsides, cheap and accessible, were often used as moral forums with 'lessons of life' included in the narrative. Broadside authors tended to see themselves as moral guardians and teachers in society. As such, publishers often disseminated 'educational' texts outlining the social and personal consequences of undisciplined or immoral behaviour.

previous pageprevious          
Likely date of publication: 1806-1826   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Speech of the Town's Officers'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland