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Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald Blue'


Verse 1 begins: 'My names Donald Blue, you ken me fu' we'll / And if you be civil I'm a civel chiel'. There are no publication details attached to this sheet. A woodcut of two clasped hands has, however, been included above the title.

The content of this ballad, is an interesting twist on a common broadside theme. Many broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection - both fact and fiction- deal with the personal and social consequences of drunken husbands. This sheet, however, carries stories of women, all wives, who have a debilitating drink habit. They are accused of neglecting their children's welfare and causing their husbands great distress, as well as letting themselves down badly.

Broadsides, cheap and accessible, were often used as moral forums with 'lessons of life' included in the narrative. Broadside authors tended to see themselves as moral guardians and teachers in society. As such, publishers often disseminated 'educational' texts outlining the social and personal consequences of undisciplined or immoral behaviour.

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Probable period of publication: 1860-1880   shelfmark: RB.m.168(145)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald Blue'
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