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Broadside story entitled 'A Symposium of Scottish Songs'


This story begins: 'There was ance held a gran' meetin' o' Scottish sangs. The date thereof was sometime before or after the year "Auchty Nine;" the place canna be fixed wi' the same exactness, but it was probably near "The Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon," in honour o' the "Lad that was born in Kyle."' The story is mysteriously signed with the initials of the author, 'W.S.'

This light-hearted story is cleverly constructed around the titles of well-known Scottish folk songs. The writer personifies the songs, and brings them together for a grand meeting or 'symposium'. Although it is obviously easier to do this when the title itself is a person's name, the writer cleverly tailors the more awkward titles to fit in with the narrative. The ending to the story is rather surreal, with all the song titles singing 'Auld Lang Syne' - who is also an attendee at this most bizarre of gatherings!

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable period of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: RB.m.143(021)
Broadside story entitled 'A Symposium of Scottish Songs'
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