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Broadside ballad entitled 'Lines Spoken at the Celebration of the Birth of Burns'

Introduction:
This ballad begins: 'I stood beside a peasant's tomb, / And asked who calmly sleeps below? / What was the story of his doom, / His mortal portion - weal or woe?' It was written by William G. Thompson in Newcastle and is dated Monday 27th January, 1834.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
16692
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
157 x 290mm
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:
William G. Thompson (author)
Robert Burns (subject)
National Library of Scotland (keeper of collection)
When:
1834 (date of publication)
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:
This poem or song was written to celebrate the life of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns (1759-96). It was to be recited at a celebration of his birth, which was to be held on the 27th January, 1834. Burns was actually born on the 25th January, and the occasion of his birthday, often referred to as Burns Night, continues to be celebrated in Scotland, and many other parts of the world, to this day. The evening normally consists of a Burns supper, which includes haggis, and various toasts and recitals of his work. The National Library of Scotland's collection includes a number of other dedicatory songs and poems eulogising the life and work of Burns.