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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lassie's Answer'


Verse 1: 'Farewell to Glasgow, / Likewise to Lanarkshire, / And farewell my dearest parents, / For I'll never see you mair; / For the want of pocket money, / And for the want of cash, / Makes mony a bonny laddie, / to leave his bonny lass.' The chorus begins: 'For I am forced to go, my love / Where no one shall me know'. Included at the top of the sheet is a woodcut illustration of a man and woman holding hands. The word 'Kangaroo' is from the title of another ballad that appeared on the same sheet: 'On Board the Kangaroo'.

'The Bonnie Lassie's Answer' also appears on another broadside in the National Library of Scotland's collection, featuring a different woodcut. It tells the tale of a young man who, for the want of money, has been forced to enter into military service. Before leaving, he bids farewell to the country he loves, his parents and his sweetheart. Each time he says goodbye to his bonnie lassie, her sweet refrain is 'no, no'.

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: 1860-1880   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(087)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Bonnie Lassie's Answer'
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