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Broadside ballads entitled 'My Nannie's Awa' and 'Burns and his Highland Mary'

Introduction:
'My Nannie's Awa'' begins: 'Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arrays, / And listen the lambkins that bleat owre the braes'. 'Burns and his Highland Mary' begins: 'In green Caledonia there ne'er were twa lovers, / Sae enraptured and happy in each ithers arms'. This broadside was published by James Lindsay of King Street in Glasgow. It does not carry a price or a date of publication.
Image Rights Holder:
National Library of Scotland
Ref:
16620
Project:
749:Popular Print in Scotland, 1650-1850
Material:
Broadside
Dimensions:
190 x 255mm
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:
James Lindsay (publisher)
Robert Burns (subject)
Highland Mary or Mary Campbell (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:
'My Nannie's Awa'' is a simple example of the pathetic fallacy at work. This is a literary term used to explain a tendency in poets and authors to describe nature in terms of personal emotions. Examples in this song are the narrator's description of autumn as 'pensive' and winter as 'dreary', words which reflect his own emotions at the loss of his lover. 'Burns and his Highland Mary' is a romantic song based around Robert Burns's (1759-96) love affair with 'Highland' Mary Campbell (1763-86), which ended with her tragically early death. The authors of the two songs are not identified on the sheet.