This ballad begins: 'WHO cares a single louse, / For Sir JOHN BOGHOUSE, / Or with AYTOUN pretends to compare him? / HE's a mere Tool of the Clique'. It was advertised as a new song and was to be sung to the tune, 'Saw Ye My Father'.
It appears from this broadside that Boghouse was standing for election as a Whig candidate. The author of this ballad does not look upon him or his politics favourably, and instead encourages people to vote for his opponent, Aytoun. Whilst there appears to be little or no information available on Boghouse, it seems likely that Aytoun was in fact James Aytoun (1797-1881), the well-known Radical who stood for election as member of parliament for Edinburgh during the 1830s.
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(107)
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