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Broadside ballad entitled 'A Gude New Year to ane an' A'


Verse 1: 'A gude New-year to ane and a', / And mony may ye see, / And during a' the years to come, / Oh happy may ye be. / and may ye ne'er ha'e cause to mourn, / To sigh or shed a tear - / To ane and a', baith great and sma', a hearty guid New-year.' This ballad was to be sung to an 'Original' tune, was priced at one penny and was published on Saturday, 30th December 1865 by the Poet's Box, probably in Glasgow.

The sentiments of this song are fairly typical of what might be expected even today at a Scottish New Year or Hogmanay party. Nostalgic memories, the passing of time, partings and reunions, and high hopes for the future are all elements in this song, just as they are in the more eloquent, most famous Hogmanay song of all, 'Auld Lang Syne'. In particular, the images of braes and trees in the third verse here appear to have been inspired directly by Burns's adaptation of 'Auld Lang Syne', the version most commonly sung today.
The Poet?s Box in Glasgow operated from 1849 to 1911. Matthew Leitch was the proprietor at 6 St. Andrew Lane?s, a narrow street on the south side of Gallowgate, from 1850 to 1858. His son William Munsie Leitch worked at the same address from 1859 to 1865 and at varous addresses in London Street until 1911. Many of the broadsides published by the Glasgow Poet?s Box were dated and some carried advertisements, not just for printed items but also for shoe blacking and ?soap for lovers?! Like the other ?boxes? in Dundee and Edinburgh, the Glasgow one sold love songs, sea shanties, parodies and dialogues. It is not clear what the connection between the different Poet?s Boxes were. They almost certainly sold each other?s sheets. It is known that John Sanderson in Edinburgh often wrote to the Leitches in Glasgow for songs and that later his brother Charles obtained copies of songs from the Dundee Poet?s Box. There was also a Poet?s Box in Belfast from 1846 to 1856 at the address of the printer James Moore, and one in Paisley in the early 1850s owned by William Anderson.
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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Date of publication: 1865   shelfmark: L.C.1269(155a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A Gude New Year to ane an' A'
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