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Broadside ballad entitled 'Nothing More'


Verse 1: 'In a fair valley I wandere'd, / O'er its meadow pathways green; / Where a singing brook was flowing, / Like the spirit of the scene; / And I saw a lovely maiden, / With a basket brimming o'er; / With sweet buds, and so I ask'd her / For a flower, and - nothing more.' It was printed by Robert M'Intosh, probably in Glasgow.

'Nothing More' is a romantic song with a strong moral subtext. The art of seduction was a common theme in ballads, and many end with a woman alone, broken-hearted and shamed in some way. In this example, however, the lovestruck narrator is restrained and patient, asking his sweetheart only for a flower, or a smile, or a kiss, and 'nothing more'. His gallantry is eventually rewarded when the girl he has wooed 'for weeks and months' consents to marry him.

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 of publication: 1849   shelfmark: L.C.1269(163a)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Nothing More'
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