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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'The Irish Emigrant' and 'There's a good time coming Boys'.

Date: 1845 - 1849
Dimensions:
Overall: 253 x 188 mm, 0.022 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017369
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    A broadsheet featuring the two ballads titled 'The Irish Emigrant' by Helen Blackwood and 'There's a good time coming Boys''.
    'The Irish Emmigrant' was a popular ballad detailing the emigration of an Irishman after the death of his wife and child.
    'There's a good time coming Boys'' shows an optimistic hope for the furture where life is infintely more peaceful and better for the poor, the children and where "the people shall be temperate, and shall love instead of hate."
    The sheet was printed by G.Walker in Durham.
    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 and migration.
    History"There's a good time coming Boys"

    There's a good time coming, boys—
    A good time coming —
    We may not live to see the day,
    But earth shall glisten in the ray,
    Of the good time coming,
    Cannon-balls may aid the truth,
    But thought's a weapon stronger—
    We'll il our battle by its aid—
    When a little longer
    There's a good time, &c.

    There's a good time coming boys—
    A good time coming —
    The pen shall supersede the sword,
    And right not might shall be the lord,
    In the good time coming,
    Worth, not birth, shall rule mankind
    And be acknowledged stronger—
    The proper impulse has been given—
    Wait a little longer.
    There's a good time, &c.

    There's a good time coming boys—
    A good time coming—
    And a poor man's family
    Shall not be his misery,
    In the good time coming,
    Every chi s shall be a help,
    To make his right arm stranger,
    The happier he, the more ha has—
    Wait a little longer.

    There's a good time coming, beys—
    A good time coming—
    Little children shall not toil,
    Cinder or above the soil,
    In the good time coming ;
    But shall play in healthful fields,
    Till limbs and mind grow stronger,
    And every one shall read and write—
    Wait a little longer.
    There's a good time, &c.

    There's a good time coming, beys,
    A good time coming,
    The people shall be temperate,
    And shall love instead of hate
    In the good time coming,
    They shall use and not abuse.
    And make all virtue stronger—
    The reformation has begun—
    Wait a little longer.
    There's a good time, &c.

    There's a good time coming, bove—
    A good time coming—
    Let us aid it all we can,
    Every woman, every man
    The good time coming,
    Smallest helps if rightly given,
    Make the impulse stronger—
    I will be strong enough one day—


    Broadsheets or broadsides, as they were also known, were originally used to communicate official or royal decrees. They were printed on one side of paper and became a popular medium of communication between the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe, particularly Britain. They were able to be printed quickly and cheaply and were widely distributed in public spaces including churches, taverns and town squares. Their function expanded as they became used as a medium to galvanise political debate, hold public meetings and advertise products or cultural events.

    The cheap nature of the broadside and its wide accessibility meant that its intended audience were often literate individuals but from varying social standings. The illiterate may have also had access to this literature as many of the ballads were designed to be read aloud. In 'Popular Culture in Seventeenth-Century England', Peter Burke notes that the golden age of the broadside ballad, between 1600 and 1700, saw ballads produced at a penny each which was the same price for admission to the theatre.

    The ballads also covered a wide range of subject matter such as witchcraft, epic war battles, murder and maritime themes and events. They were suitably dramatic and often entertaining, but as James Sharpe notes, also in 'Popular Culture in Seventeenth-Century England', some of them were designed as elaborate cautionary tales for those contemplating a life of crime.

    The broadside ballads in the museum's collection were issued by a range of London printers and publishers for sale on the streets by hawkers. They convey, often comically, stories about love, death, shipwrecks, convicts and pirates. Each ballad communicates a sense that these stories were designed to be read aloud for all to enjoy, whether it was at the local tavern or a private residence.
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