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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Banner of War', 'Lady's Trip to Kennedy' and 'Affectionate Soldier'

Date: 1790 - c 1870
Overall: 250 x 192 mm, 0.015 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017415
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Banner of War', 'Lady's Trip to Kennedy' and 'Affectionate Soldier'.
    'Lady's trip to Kennedy', also known as 'O-Canada' or 'The Wearing of the Blue', is a Canadian and English folk ballad. It is believed to have been written before 1839.

    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.

    There was a gallant Lady
    All in her tender years,
    She was courted by a sailor
    Twas true she loved him dear,
    And how to get to sea with him
    The way she did not know,
    She fain would see the pretty place
    Called Kennedy I.O.
    She bargained with a captain
    All for a purse of gold
    And soon the did convey the lady
    Down into the hold
    Then dressed she up in sailors clothes,
    The colours are true blue,
    You soon shall see the pretty place
    Called Kennedy I-O.
    When her true love he came to hear,
    It out him in a rage
    And all the whole ships company
    His passion to enrage.
    I'll tie you hand and foot love,
    And over board you'll go,
    You ne'er see the pretty place
    Called Kennedy I-O.
    Out then spoke our captin bold,
    Such things shall never be,
    For if we drown this lady
    Then hanged up we shall be,
    We'll dress her up in sailors clothes,
    The colours are true.
    And she soon shall see that pretty place
    Called Kennedy I-O.
    She had ben in Kennedy
    Scarcely half a year,
    Till the captain he married her,
    And made her his dear,
    She dresses in silks and satins
    And cuts a noble shew,
    She is the grandest captains lady
    Thats in Kennedy I-O
    Come all you pretty maidens
    A warning take by me
    Be loyal to your husbands
    In every degree,
    For if the mate deceived me
    The Captain he proved true
    And the captain he prolonged my days
    For wearing the true blue.


    Behold the Britannia how stately and brave
    She floats on the amblent tide.
    For empire design'd o'er the turbulent wave
    How trim and how gallant she rides,
    Yes love in a true Britons heart,
    For glory contends for a part.
    And the fair cheeks of beauty with tears are impearl'd
    When the banner the banner of war is unfurl'd

    On the shore how alert how intrepid her crew
    How firm at their soverigns command,
    Or dauntless o'er ocean her foes to pursue
    And die for the cause o their land,
    Yet one tear o'er the heros depart
    One sigh shall be drawn from the heart
    One kiss on thy cheek with sweet sorrow impearled,
    When the banner the banner of war is unfurled.

    Now forth to the conquest, to conquest the battle swells high
    And firece round the vessel it roars,
    Hark the sons of Britannia to victory cry.
    And victory sound to our shore,
    Then peaceful again to their homes
    Shall the patriot warriors come,
    No more the fair cheeks shall tears be impearl'd
    But the banner of peace stands for ever unfurl'd.


    Twas in the evening of a wintry day,
    When safe returning from a long campaign
    Allan o'er toiled and weary with his way,
    Came home to see his Sally once again.
    His tattered arms he carelessly threw down,
    And viewed his Sally with enruptured eyes,
    But she received him with a modest frown,
    She knew not Allan in his rough disguise.
    His hair was knotted and his beard unshorn,
    His tattered coutrements about him hung,
    A tear of pleasure did his cheeks adorn,
    And blessings fell in torrents from his tongue
    Am I so altered by this cruel trade,
    That you your faithful Allan have forgot
    Or has your heart unto some other strayed,
    Ah why did I escape the murdering shot.
    When thus he spake, her wonted colom fled,
    She ran and sunk upon her Allan's breast,
    All pale awhile she look'd like one that's dead,
    He kiss'd, she breathed, and all their love confess'd,
    Yes my delight, tho altered as thou art,
    Reduced by honest courage to this state,
    Thou art the golden treasure of my heart,
    Long lost husband and my wished for mate.

    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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