This ballad title continues: '(From Edinburgh Evening Courant of 17th June 1871). / Ane Ancient Ballade. / TUNE ? "There's nae luck aboot the hoose". The ballad begins: 'Oh, ha'e ye heard the gran' gran' news, / Ye drouthy working men?'
The lyrics to this piece refer to piping water into a city from St Mary's Loch. The most famous loch with this name, is the freshwater loch between Selkirk and Moffat, in the Scottish Borders. Unfortunately, there seems to be some disquiet over the quality of the water the homes are receiving. The 'Canongate' is mentioned, which suggests that the 'City' was Edinburgh. The tune to the song is very popular on broadsides and so may have been fairly well known at the time.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile