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Broadsheet ballad titled 'The Liverpool Landlady'.

Date: 1790 - c 1870
Overall: 252 x 102 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017443
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    A broadsheet ballad titled 'The Liverpool Landlady'. This ballad was also known as the 'Green Bed';.
    The ballad was a popular song in England and North America and first appeared sometime in the early C19th century. The theme of the hard done by sailor who is badly treated on land is a common broadsheet song type and this example, the sailor triumphs and warns other seamen to watch themselves.

    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.
    HistoryLiverpool Landlady.

    A story, a story, a story of one,
    Of a gallant sailor whose name it was John
    For its of a brave sailor that's just come to shore,
    He appeared in my eyes like one very poor
    He came to the house were he lodged in before,
    You're welcome dear John, you're welcome from sea,
    Last night my daughter Molly had dreamt of thee
    What sort of a voyage dear John have you made

    What sort of voyage, this old bawd she said
    Its a very poor voyage our ship and argo lost,
    And on the wide ocean so greatly I've been tos
    Where his your daughter Molly fetch her down to me
    Call your daughter Molly and sit her on my knee
    No my daughter's busy and cannot come to you,
    Nor neither will I trust you for one pot nor two.
    When John heard the news he hung down his head.

    He called for a candle to light him to bed.
    My beds are engaged and have been all the week,
    And for a fresh lodging poor Jack he must seek
    What money do I owe you dear John he did say
    What money do I owe you to this old bawd he said
    Forty five shillings, John, you owe me of old
    With that he pulled out handful of gold,
    When sh saw the money she vow's and protest
    The words she had spoken was only in jest

    For the green bed is empty & has been this week
    You and my daughter Molly may take a silent sleep.
    No I'll sleep in the streets sooner than within your door,
    For you would rob me as you have done many more
    Whilst I have money in my pocket you rant & roar
    When its all gone you kick ...? ...of door
    Come all you stout seamen with courage stout and bold
    Provide against a rainy day for winter it grows cold
    Provide against a rainy day and lay it up in store
    Without you've got money you'll be turned out of doors.

    Broadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.

    The publication of ballads was part of the commemoration and production of material about shipwrecks. Ships were part of the everyday life in the 19th century and stories about their voyages, wrecks, record breaking voyages and commissions often featured in newspapers and commemorative souvenirs.

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