The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Song'


Verse 1: 'THEY'RE dear to me, the hills of Perth, / Those rolling floods, these golden plains, / The home of joy, the land of worth, / Where beauty smiles and valour reigns!' These lyrics should be sung to the tune 'He's o'er the Hills'.

The main piece of contextual information given in this ballad is in the tenth stanza, 'With India's trophies round his bier', referring to the British Empire's colonial interests in India. The song is supposed to comfort the widow who has lost her husband and whose life is now in turmoil. To comfort her further lists of Scotland's great military leaders and her battles have been included, to add to her husband's heroic status.

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.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1820-1837   shelfmark: APS.4.87.13
Broadside ballad entitled 'Song'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland