The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Patriotic Song'


This ballad begins: 'Ye sunny lands, beyond the main, / Where plenty smiles in store; / Thy charms may tempt our roving sons / To leave their native shore.' The author of this ballad was James Kirkwood, who appears to have lived in Garth, which is near Denny in Stirlingshire.

This writer of this ballad considers the attraction of leaving Scotland to start a new life elsewhere, before deciding that Scotland, with its glorious past, is not an easy country to part company from. Indeed, the writer points out that even though Scotland is a cold and wet place with sterile soil, he still loves the country and will not join those who are emigrating from Scotland. In short, this ballad is all about the joys of living in Scotland, at a time when thousands of Scots were emigrating from the land of their birth.

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.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1850-1870   shelfmark: RB.m.143(195)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Patriotic Song'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland