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Broadside ballad entitled 'Braes o' Balquhither'


Verse 1 begins: 'Let us go, lassie, go / To the braes o' Balquhither, / Where the blae-berries grow, / 'Mang the bonny Highland heather'. The top of the sheet carries a woodcut of a bird singing in a branch. In the background are two cottages, in a stylised rural setting.

Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive today because they were recorded on broadsides or in collections. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually well-known, established favourites. This song with its rural imagery and reminiscences of a fondly remembered place, is typical of many broadside ballads. Unfortunately nothing more is known about the origins or growth of this ballad.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable period of publication: 1830-1850   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(202)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Braes o' Balquhither'
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