Broadsheet ballad titled 'Sally's Love for a Sailor'.
SignificanceBroadsheets were designed as printed ephemera to be published and distributed rapidly. This also meant they were quickly disposed of with many of them not surviving the test of time. The museum's broadsheet collection is therefore a rare and valuable example of how maritime history was communicated to a wide audience, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. They vibrantly illustrate many of the themes and myths surrounding life at sea. Some of them also detail stories about transportation, migration.
HistorySALLY'S LOVE FOR A SAILOR
It was on a Monday morning being in the month of May,
As carelessly I wandered down London Streets to free
I overheard a fair maid and this was all her cry
Let mum and dad say whay they will I will wed my sailor boy,
He is loyal and true hearted he is handsome neat and trim,
No country clown or squire can ever equal him
He has crossed the stormy ocean where cannons loud do roar,
Then blesings may attend him he is the lad that I do adore
Then bespoke her mother and thus to her did say,
You are a foolish girl take counsel now I pray
For sailors they are roving blades the girls they do adore
Leave their sweethearts broken hearted for fresh ones on the shore,
So wed a jolly farmer that whistles at the plough,
And then you'll always have a time to attend the sheep and cows,
Forsake the tarry sailor that roves from shore to shore
They change their mind just like the wind how can you them adore
A fig for all your farmers your horses and their ploughs
A sailors wealth is honour a cann of grog his spouse
He spends his money freely that he ets upon the main
A fig for home bred lovers such as them I do disdain,
The girls of famous London town Deptford and Blackwall,
Each one were to know how their fluttering bosom feels
They would make hesitation but quickly let them know
That they love the lads venture their lives where the stormy winds do blow,
I'm one of that number that does my love control
Come join with me you maidens gay that loves a sailor bold
Let shouts and acclamations amoungt unto the skies
To the sailors of gay London town and Blackwall likewise
Come all you jolly sailors bold wherever you belong.
That loves a pretty girl for her sake you will buy a song,
Sing it out on the yard arm where the stormy winds do blow
God protect each sailor lad that sings yo ho.
Broadsides were issued by a number of London publishers for selling by hawkers on the street and were a popular form of entertainment in 18th and 19th century England. By their very nature they are extremely fragile and ephemeral ;as a result they are notably scarce in good condition .
They were also known as 'roadsheet’, 'broadsheet', ‘stall’, ‘vulgar’ or ‘come all ye’ ballads'. In the 19th century many ballads were written about people emigrating. A large number to escape the difficult economic conditions they faced or to try and make their fortunes to bring home.The ballads reflect a deep love of their home place and in many cases the hero - usually male – is pining for a loved one he had to leave behind.