Collection of broadside song lyrics


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Item#: 81195 price:$2,200.00

Collection of broadside song lyrics


BRERETON, Peter, printer. Collection of illustrated broadside song lyrics. Dublin: Peter Brereton, circa 1860-1880. 26 separate sheets. Narrow broadsides, thin wove stock (4-1/2 by 11 inches). $2200.

Fascinating collection of 26 broadside song sheets of popular 19th-century Irish ballads and drinking songs, including an early version of “John Barleycorn,” each with a delightful wood-engraved headpiece.

This intriguing collection of broadside Irish ballads includes the famous drinking song, “Barley Corn” (an early version of “John Barleycorn”), whose origin is still a mystery. “Is ‘Barleycorn’ an unusually coherent folklore survival of the ancient myth of the slain and resurrected Corn-God, or is it the creation of an antiquarian revivalist, which has passed into the popular currency and become ‘folklorized’? It is in any case an old song, of which an elaborate form was printed in the reign of James I. It was widespread over the English and Scottish countryside, and Burns re-wrote a well-known version” (Penguin Books). Brereton’s version is almost the same as the one printed in Colm O Lochlainn’s Irish Street Ballads (1939). Included also in this collection are such “tender” songs of love and courtship as “Lovely Katey of Liskehan,” “Annie Lisle,” “The Girl I Left Behind Me” (with a wood-engraving of a native Island girl), “For 16 Months I Courted Her” and “A New Song on Luckey [sic] Elopement,” all printed in a handy broadside format for spontaneous distribution as the spirit moved.

Generally near-fine condition, a few with tears and creased edges.

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