Verse 1: 'YOU men and you wives lend an ear to my song, / I warrant 'twill please you and not keep you long, / Indeed it's no joke but the truth I declare, / It's concerning your wives a trimming of their hair.' The broadside was published by Robert McIntosh of 96 King Street, Calton, in Glasgow. Although it is not dated it is likely to have been published in the mid-nineteenth century, when McIntosh is known to have had premises at this address.
'Woman's Pride' was probably written as a comic ballad with a cautionary message. It is a satirical attack on women who wear fashionable or elaborate hairstyles, mocking their 'false silly curls' and accusing them of vanity and extravagance. To a modern audience this song is deeply misogynistic, but ballads with similar sentiments were quite common in Victorian Britain. During that period there was a significant school of thought that believed women, particularly if married, should embrace a very domesticated, family-orientated role, and reject a showy social identity.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable date published:
1849- shelfmark: RB.m.169(226)
View larger image