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Broadside ballad entitled 'Highland Mary'

Introduction:
The text preceding this ballad begins: 'The 'Castle of Montgomery' referred to in this beautiful effusion was that of Collsfield, near Tarbolton.' The ballad itself begins: 'Ye banks and braes and streams around / The Castle o' Montgomery'. A nicely executed woodcut representing a rather well-dressed Highland Mary decorates the top of the sheet.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
16337
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
188 x 253mm
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 (poet)
Mary Campbell or Highland Mary (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:
'Highland Mary', or Mary Campbell, was one of Robert Burns's (1759-96) great loves, and he wrote this poem for her in 1792. The introduction to the poem, written, presumably, by the broadside publisher, is of interest because it puts it in context. It tells the tragic tale of how Burns and Mary were cruelly parted by her untimely death from typhus in 1786.