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Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald of Dundee'


Verse 1 begins: 'YOUNG Donald is the blithest lad / That e'er made love to me'. It was published by Pitts of 6 Great St Andrew Street, London. Above the title a crude woodcut of a well-dressed lady holding a long curly wig has been included.

Many of Pitts's publications are on Scottish topics and have found their way into Scottish collections. There are many of them in National Library of Scotland's Collection. It would suggest that Pitts's system of distribution was excellent, if his sheets were travelling so far. It would also suggest that contrary to popular belief, items on a Scottish theme were popular with audiences of all nationalities. This song was written by the Orcadian David Vedder (1790-1854) and appeared frequently in chapbooks and - as here - on broadsides.
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: 1820-1844   shelfmark: RB.m.168(147)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Donald of Dundee'
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