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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'The Irish Emigrant', 'The Water Drinker' and 'Sleep Gentle Lady'.

Date: 1834 - 1886
Overall: 250 x 192 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017367
Place Manufactured:Durham

User Terms

    A broadsheet featuring three ballads 'The Irish Emigrant', 'The Water Drinker' and 'Sleep Gentle Lady'. "The Irish Emigrant" by Helen Selina Blackwood was a popular ballad detailing the emigration of an Irishman after the death of his wife and child.
    The sheet was printed by G.Walker in Durham.
    SignificanceBroadsides provide us with a snap shot of popular views on maritime Britain and its new colony at New Holland. Rich in subject matter it features sailors,convicts,emigrants to Port Jackson, disasters at sea. Here is not a world of high-art but the rowdy life of the streets of Georgian and Victorian London. Being ephemera, the survival rate is poor.
    HistorySleep Gentle Lady.

    Sleep gentle Lady, the flowers are closing,
    The very waves and winds reposing ;
    Oh ! may our soft and soothing numbers,
    Wrap thee in sweeter, softer slumbers !
    Peace be around thee, Lady bright ;
    Sleep while we sing " Good night—good night."

    The Water Drinker,

    Drink ! drink ! drink !
    Thou pale eyed moody thinker—
    Bacchus hater ! water drinker !
    Drink, drink, drink, drink, the ruby wine !
    'Twill give thee many years and jolly,
    And 'twill chase away pale melancholy,
    From those cheeks of thine.
    Drink, drink, &c.

    See the water sot replieth,
    Water in its brightness vieth,
    Vieth with the wine tree's soul
    And longer liveth, wiser thinketh,
    The sober sage that never drinketh
    Of the boasted bowl.
    Drink, drink, &c.

    Well give me, give me the wine god's berry
    They are more wise than merry,
    Let them drink—let them drink with thee.
    Water seasons not my dishes,
    'Tis a tripple for the fishes,
    Not a drink for me,
    Drink, drink, &c.

    The Irish Emigrant.

    I'm sitting on the stile, Mary,
    Where we sat side by side,
    On a bright May morning long ago,
    When first you were my bride,
    The corn was springing fresh and green,
    And the lark sung loud and high,
    And the red was on your lip, Mary,
    And the love light in your eye.

    The place is little changed, Mary,
    The day's as bright as then,
    The lark's loud song is in my ear,
    And the corn is green again ;
    But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,
    And your breath warm on my cheek,
    And I still keep list'ning for the words
    You never more may speak.

    'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
    And the little church stands near,
    The church where we were wed, Mary,
    I see it's spire from here ;
    But the grave-yard lies between, Mary,
    And my step might break your rest,
    For I've laid you, darling, down to sleep
    With your baby on your breast.

    I'm very lonely now, Mary,
    For the poor find no new friends ;
    But oh ! they love thee better still.
    The few our father sends,
    And you were all I had, Mary,
    My blessing and my pride ;
    There's nothing left to care for now,
    Since my poor Mary died.

    I'm bidding you a long farewell,
    My Mary kind and true,
    But I'll not forget you, darling,
    In the land I'm going to.
    They say there's bread and work for all,
    And the sun shines always there,
    But I'll not forget old Ireland,
    Where it fifty times as far.

    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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