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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Cherry Cheek Patty For Me' and 'I'm Afloat'.

Date: 1790 - c 1870
Dimensions:
Overall: 249 x 199 mm, 0.015 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017400
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    Broadsheet featuring the ballads Cherry Cheek Patty For Me' and 'I'm Afloat'.
    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.
    HistoryI'M AFLOAT.

    I'M afloat, I'm afloat, on the fierce rolling tide;
    The ocean's my home, and my bark is my bride.
    Up, up with y flag, let it wave o'er the sea,
    I'm afloat, I,m afloat, and the Rover is free:
    I fear not the monarch, I heed not the law;
    I've a compass to steer by, a dagger to draw,
    And ne'er as a coward or slave will I kneel,
    While my guns carry shot, or my belt bears a steel.
    Quick! quick! trim her sail ; let the sheet kiss the wind,
    And I warrant we'll soon leave the sea-gulls behind.
    Up, up with my flag, let it wave o'er the sea :
    I'm afloat, I'm afloat, and the Rover is free;
    I'm afloat, I'm afloat, and the Rover is free.

    The night gathers o'er us, the thunder is heard:
    What matter? our vesel skims on like a bird.
    What to her is the dash o the storm-ridden main?
    She has braved it before, and will brave it again;
    The fire-gleaing flashes around us may fall -
    They may strike, they may cleave, but they cannot appal.
    With lightnings above us and thunders below
    Through the wild world of waters right onward we go.
    Hurrah! my brave comrades, ye may drink, ye may sleep,
    The storm-fiend is hush'd; we're alone on the deep
    Our flag of defiance till wave o'er the sea
    I'm afloat, I'm afloat, and the Rover is free,
    I'm afloat, I'm afloat and the Rover is free.


    CHERRY CHEEK PATTY FOR ME.

    Down in yon village I live so snug,
    They call me Giles, the ploughman's boy,
    Through woods and o'er stiles as I trudge many miles,
    I whistle, I whistle, and whoop gee woo Jerry.
    My work being done, to the lawn then I fly,
    Where the lads and the lasses all look very sly
    And Ize deeply in love with a girl,it is true
    And I know what I know, but I munna tell you,
    But I'l whistle, I'll whistle, for all the girls e'er did see,
    Oh, cherry cheek Patty for me.

    The squire so great so happy mayn't be
    As poor simple Giles, the ploughman's boy.
    No matters of state e'er addle my pate,
    But I'll whistle, I'll whistle, and whoop gee who Jerry.
    Now cherry cheek Patty she lives in the vale,
    Whom I help o'er the stile with her milking pail,
    And Patty has a like notion for me, it is true:
    And I know what I know but I munna tell you,
    But I'll whistle, I'll whistle, for all the girls e'er did see,
    Oh, cherry cheek Patty for me.

    Ize able and strong, and willing to work,
    And when the lark rises off trudges,
    The cows up I call and harness old Ball,
    I whistle, I whistle and whoop gee who Jerry.
    Then Ize fifty good shillings my luck has been such,
    And a lad's not to be grinned at who has got so much,
    And when that I'm married to Patty so true,
    I know what I know, but I munna tell you,
    But I'll whistle, I'll whistle, for all the girl e'er did see,
    Cherry cheek Patty for me.

    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.

    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.

    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 occasionally they 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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