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Collection of ballads, songsheets: The Blue Bonnets Are over the Border

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820ñ1830). London: n.p., n.d. University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Broadside pasted to album leaf 25, containing "The Maniac" (left column); and "The Blue Bonnets Are over the Border" and "Poor Mary Anne" (right column). Colophon in left column: "James Paul and Co., Printers, 2 & 3 Monmouth Courth, Seven Dials, where upwards of 5000 different sorts of ballads are continually on sale, together with 40 new penny, and 60 new half-penny song-books."


The Blue Bonnets over the Border

MARCH! March! Ettrick and Tevot-dale,
Whymylads dinnaye march forward in orde<r?>
March! March! Eskdale and Liddesdale!
   All the blue bonnets are over the border
      Many a banner spread,
      Flutters above your head,
   Many a crest that is famous in story,
      Mount and make ready then,
      Sons of the mountain glen,
Fight for your King and the old Scottish border.
                                    March! March! &c.
Come from the hills where your hirsels ar<e> grazing,
   Come from the glens of the buck and the ro<e>
Come to the grag where the beacon is blazing
   Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow
      Trumpets are sounding,
      War steeds are bounding.
Stand to your arms and march on good order
      England shall many a day,
         Tell of the bloody fray,
When the blue bonnets came over the border<.>
                                    March! March! &c.



Basic transcription by Eric Welle. Pointed brackets mark emendations. Compare "Blue Bonnets over the Border," printed by J. Catnach, on album leaf 8. The printer James Paul was a favorite apprentice of Catnach's (Hindley 1878: 409-10).

"Blue Bonnets over the Border" is still an authorized march of several regiments, including The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's), which has posted an instrumental MIDI version; hear also another version. Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index lists several published recordings.


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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/blue25.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 27 April 1997


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