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Broadside ballad entitled 'Cheer, Boys, Cheer!'


This ballad begins: 'Cheer! Boys! cheer! no more of idle sorrow, / Courage, true heart, shall bear us on our way'. This sheet was published by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow. The top of the sheet carries a woodcut illustration of a sailing ship, listing at a jaunty angle.

James Lindsay was a prolific broadside producer and distributor, and there are many examples of his work contained in the National Library of Scotland's collection. Farewells or reminiscences for sailors was also a popular broadside topic on Scottish sheets, especially given the country's proliferation of harbours and ports. This sheet, however, is more unusual, as the content is specifically aimed at Englishmen and the sailors' destination or purpose is not revealed.

Broadsides are often crudely illustrated with woodcuts - the earliest form of printed illustration, first used in the mid-fifteenth century. Inclusion of an illustration on a broadside increased its perceived value, especially among the illiterate. To keep costs down, publishers would normally reuse their limited stock of generic woodcuts.

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Probable period of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: APS.4.86.2
Broadside ballad entitled 'Cheer, Boys, Cheer!'
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