Verse 1: 'Let them boast of the Shamrock, the Thistle and Rose, / I sing of what's fairer than any of those - / Of the cause of Reform and the Garland of Green'. The text preceding this reads: 'A NEW SONG. / TUNE - Sprig of Shillelah'. Two woodcuts have been included on this sheet - one at the top of thistles and a bonnet and one at the bottom of a smiling clown's face.
The Whig party was created by those who wanted more democratic powers for the parliament. The Whig base was originally in the countryside but this soon changed as their progressive attitude began to appeal to those in the newer industrial areas. The main thrust of their reforming programme was the enfranchisement of larger numbers of society. James Aytoun (or Ayton) (1797-1881) who is referred to in the text, was prominent in Edinburgh politics in the 1830s.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile