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Broadside ballad entitled 'Scotia's Dirge'

Introduction:
Verse 1: 'AULD Scotia now may sigh aloud, / Her tears in torrents fa', / Her sweetest harp now hangs unstrung, / Since WILSON'S ta'en awa'. / He sang o' a' her warlike deeds, / An' sons that gallant were - / Her hoary towers, an' snaw-clad hills, / An maidens sweet an' fair.' The poem is an elegy on 'JOHN WILSON, Esq., the Scottish Vocalist, who died in America, on the 9th July 1849.' The author was William Jamie of Gourdon Schoolhouse, and the poem is dated 7th August 1849.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
16480
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
113 x 235mm
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:
John Wilson (subject)
William Jamie (author)
Robert Burns (associated)
Sir Walter Scott (associated)
National Library of Scotland (keeper of collection)
When:
1849 (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:
Neither the subject of this elegy, the singer John Wilson, nor its author William Jamie, are remembered widely in Scotland today. The poem suggests that Wilson was a performer of Burns's songs, and also of songs about Scotland's landscape and heroic past. These were themes which had become internationally popular during the early nineteenth century through Sir Walter Scott's novels. Burns's renown also grew during this period, and his influence is obvious in William Jamie's choice of metre and rhyme scheme, which echo Burns's song 'A Red, Red Rose'.