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Broadsheet ballad titled 'Standard Bearer'.

Date: 1846 - 1854
Overall: 236 x 80 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Woodcut and printed text on paper mounted on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00031089
Place Manufactured:London

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    Broadsheet ballad titled 'Standard Bearer'.
    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.

    Upon the tented field a minstrel knight
    Beside his standard lonely watch is keeping,
    And thus amid the stillness of the night,
    He strikes his lute and sings while all are sleeping.
    The lady of my love I will not name,
    Although I wear her colours as a token,
    But I will fight for liberty and fame,
    Beneath the flag wer first our vows were spoken.
    Beneath the flag, &c.

    The night is past, the conflict comes with dawn,
    The minstrel knight is seen each foe defying,
    While death and carnage onward still are seen,
    His song is heard mid thousands round him dying.
    The lady of my love, &c.

    Stern death, now sated, quits the gory plain,
    The life blood from the warrior bard is steaming,
    Still on his flag he rests his head with pain,
    And faintly sings, his eye with fervour (?)eaming.
    The lady of my love, &c.

    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.

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