This military ballad begins: 'ARISE and let us now repair / And go away to Heriot's Green, / The sun doth shine, the day is fair, / To see the Volunteers convene.' A note below the title states that the ballad should be sung to the tune of 'O'er the Hills and Far Awa', which is a traditional English folk song. Although there are no publication details for this sheet, the ballad's reference to 'King and Country' suggests that it was most likely published some time between 1778 and 1837.
This regimental song celebrates the martial qualities of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, also known as the 80th Regiment of Foot. Formed in 1778, this regiment was originally recruited during the American War of Independence, and fought at Yorktown in October 1781. As the regiment surrendered at Yorktown, however, it is perhaps not surprising that the author instead focuses on the regiment's glorious successes against the French and Spanish. It seems that the regiment was disbanded in 1790, only to be reformed in 1793 as the 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. It could be that the song was employed by troops as a marching song.
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:
1820-1837 shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(027)
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