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Broadside ballad entitled 'Mungo M'Gill'


Verse 1 begins: 'Draw near ilka wight, that licens'd to retail / A dribble o' spirits, an' porter, an ale, / While I sing o' a carle, a great mense to your trade, / Tho' he forty lang miles frae King Willie was bred.' There is no other information attached to this sheet.

There are other broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection, which were written in praise of inn or tavern keepers. Most keepers are praised for their friendly manner and the quality of their beer. In this text, however, it is the location of Mungo's pub and the company he keeps which are highlighted. He appears to be a bachelor, who just keeps an open house. This seems to suit the other men in the area, as time well spent in a relaxing and convivial situation.

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: RB.m.169(021)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Mungo M'Gill'
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