Verse 1: 'Down in the Country / A poor girl did wander, / Down in the Country / A poor girl did roam, / She belongs to this nation, / She has lost each dear relation, / She's a poor little Fisherman's girl, / Whose friends are dead and gone.'
There are many ballads held in the National Library of Scotland's collection which are on the topic of sailors, the sea and their families. This must have been a popular theme amongst many of Scotland's citizens, given the country's reliance on fishing, trade and the military for vocations. Although this poem is quite long, in itself an attractive marketing ploy, it is relatively unusual for a poem, with such a generic context, to be unaccompanied by a woodcut.
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:
1820-1840 shelfmark: APS.4.86.5
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