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Broadside ballad entitled 'The bodies o' the Lyne o' Skene'


This ballad begins: 'Ye powers o' rhyme gie me a lift / To string thegither twa'r three line, / About some frien's that I hae here / That's lang been guid to me and mine.' A name at the end of the ballad identifies the writer as W. Chisholm. A note at the foot of the sheet states that it was published by 'A. King and Co., Printers, Aberdeen'. Unfortunately, no date of publication is included on the sheet.

Located just outside Aberdeen, the Lyne o' Skene is a traditional, rural area where agriculture is the main industry. Consequently, this ballad is a celebration of the simple way of life that existed in this region at the time when this sheet was published. The writer also celebrates the people ('bodies') who live in the Lyne o' Skene, and claims that these people have been like family to him. Likewise, the writer also celebrates the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife and even the stormy weather! As highlighted by the recurring line of 'Auld Farran, &c' (a phrase that means 'old-fashioned', 'sagacious' and well-behaved'), the ballad is very much a tribute to the old traditions of rural life.

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 period of publication: 1840-1870   shelfmark: RB.m.143(009)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The bodies o' the Lyne o' Skene'
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