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Broadsheet ballad titled 'The Standard Of England And The Banner Of France'

Date: 1846 - 1854
Overall: 245 x 84 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017429
Place Manufactured:London

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    Ballad titled 'The Standard of England And The Banner Of France'
    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.

    HARK! hark! how the lion is roaring,
    List, list, it's the growl of the bear,
    Above the proud eagle is soaring,
    The crescent wave high in air;
    The steed with impatience is neighing,
    The banner of war is unfurl'd,
    The trumpet its hoarse blast is braying,
    And threatens the peace of the world.


    Then up with the standard of England,
    Let our watchword alone be advanced,
    Then up with the standard of England,
    And raise the brave banner of France.

    It is fearful that life should be wasted,
    It's deadful that blood should be shed,
    That the horrors of war should be tested,
    That ravens and wolves should be fed,
    Every mild art of peace has peace has been borne,
    Every mild art of peace have been tried,
    Medetation have sped with false scorn,
    Now water and knife must decide.

    Then onward by sea and byu land,
    Since there's no other course to pursue,
    Let old England and France hand in hand,
    Show the world now combined what they'll do
    Let the scabbardless sword meet the light,
    Down, down with the tyrant they cry,
    It's for honour and justice we fight
    Then forward to conquer or die.

    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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