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Broadside ballad entitled 'Bold Brannan on the moor'


This ballad begins: ?The first of my misfortunes was to list & desert / the way for to rob I soon found an art / Over hedges and ditches when I took my way / And I went a roving by night and by day?. There is no date or place of publication.

This is a version of a well-known folksong ?Brennan on the moor? which probably dates from the early 19th century. It concerns the adventures of William Brennan who was a highwayman in the 18th century. He operated around the Kilworth area in County Cork, Ireland. Brennan was hanged at Cork in 1804.

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.4.95.15(4)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Bold Brannan on the moor'
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