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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Laird of D--mm--e'


The first verse reads: 'The Laird of D--mm--e he's gude and he's great, / He's ta'en up his head wi' affairs o' the state, / A Parliament-man he's determin'd to be, / O what wad ye think o' the Laird an M.P.' It was advertised as a new song to an old tune and was to be sung to 'The Laird of Cockpen'.

This ballad is a parody of the popular song entitled the 'Laird o' Cockpen'. The original version is attributed to Lady Carolina Nairne (1766-1845) and begins: 'The Laird o' Cockpen, he's proud and he's great, / His mind is ta'en up wi' the things o' the state'. The melody of the same name, however, predates Lady Nairne's lyrics. The 'Laird' of the title, in this instance, is clearly standing for election and is not shown in a favourable light. Despite the omission of certain letters from his name, he would have been easily identifiable to the audience of the day.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(102)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Laird of D--mm--e'
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