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Broadside ballad entitled 'Here's a Health to Aytoun!'


Verse 1: 'Here's a health to Aytoun, / Health and wealth to Aytoun; / He's the man we understan'- / Here's success to Aytoun!' The text preceding this reads: 'A New Song. / TUNE. - Carle an' the King come.' There is a woodcut illustration of two men sitting beside a huge alcohol barrel in a cellar.

The tune 'Carle an' the King Came' was made famous by Robert Burns, who published it in his folksong collection entitled 'Scots Musical Museum'. The tune itself, however, was much older but had no history attached to it as it was very much embedded in the oral tradition. There are at least two Aytouns who might be the character mentioned here. William Edmonstoune Aytoun (1813-65), the Scottish poet who eventually worked for the University of Edinburgh, was renowned for his Tory views and especially for his support of the party during the Anti-Corn-Law struggle. Another possibility is that it refers to the Radical politician, James Aytoun, (1797-1881) who was active in Edinburgh at this time.

This style of text, with its implicit political propaganda, would not only have made for compelling entertainment, but would also perhaps have stimulated political thought, reasoning and debate.

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Probable period of publication: 1830-1840   shelfmark: RB.m.143(038)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Here's a Health to Aytoun!'
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