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Broadside ballad entitled 'Drucken Jock'

Introduction:
Verse 1: 'They ca' me drucken Jock; / That may a' be true - / I neither beg nor steal, / Although I'm sometimes fou. / I'm neither lame nor crazy, / And I pay for what I drink; / There's no sae muckle odds o' fock / As ane would think.' 'Drucken' means 'drunken' and 'fou' means 'intoxicated'. The name of the publisher is not included and the sheet is not dated.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
14909
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
105 x 270mm
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:
Robert Burns (associated)
Drunken Jock (subject)
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:
Written from the wise perspective of a man who likes his drink but is no alcoholic, this thoughtful and light-hearted ballad rails against the hypocrisy of those people who criticise his drinking, but ignore their own drinking habits. In particular, the ballad targets kirk elders for their Janus-faced attitude towards drink. Resolving each verse with the philosophical and liberal refrain that folk are not so very different in their basic needs, this ballad is very much in the tradition of Burns' poems such as 'Address To The Unco Guid, Or The Rigidly Righteous'.