Show Navigation

Back

View Large Image

Broadside ballad entitled 'Captain Gordon's Welcome Home: a New Song in Praise of his taking the French Privateers'

Introduction:
Verse 1: 'Now Brave Captain Gordon's come, / And brought more Prizes with him home / Let's Drink a Cup full to the brim, / In Health to Captain Gordon, / Because where ever he appears, / He clears Our Coasts of Privateers, / Makes Merchant Ships Trade without fears / Through out the Northern Ocean.' The ballad was to be sung 'To an Excellent New Tune, Hark I hear the Cannons Roar'.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
14475
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
146 x 258mm
Subject:
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.
Who:
Captain Gordon (subject)
Robert Burns (associated)
National Library of Scotland (keeper of collection)
When:
Where:
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
Background:
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.
Description:
The 'Captain Gordon' toasted here may be the same man featured in Robert Burns' verse epistle 'To Captain Gordon'. This cannot be verified, because the broadside is not dated, and Burns' poem makes no reference to his addressee defeating privateers. Privateers were pirates, and British waters continued to be troubled by piracy throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as they had been for centuries beforehand. This makes it difficult to date this ballad to a very specific period. There are other broadsides describing criminal cases of piracy in the National Library Of Scotland's collection.