The Editor, in the short preface given in the first volume, remarked that he considered it unnecessary to reiterate what has been so well written by others on Ballads and Ballad Music; and, therefore, as he can give nothing new on the subject, farther than the illustration he has given in the two volumes of this work, he thinks he may use one word from the inscription on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, in St. Paul's Cathedral, circumspice. Much is now talked of as to poetry being the language of nature, and ballads being the originals of all history, both sacred and secular. Doubtless the ballads sung on the banks of the Tiber may have been used for the earlier pages of Livy 5 History; and the ballads about Wallace and Bruce may record their achievements, for man cannot help recording events in poetry, if he has a poetical mind. And so, some historical critics suppose, that the book of Jasher was a ballad-book recording the early history of the Israelites but it does not follow that this ballad-book is the original of the most ancient and sacred history, which has been such a comfort to all who believe in it. The Editor has long been of Opinion, from all he has discovered, that ballads are almost worthless as a true record of historical events. They refer to events, but the events are so distorted in them, as to show their want of authenticity to prove the whole of the historical facts to which they refer. They are merely impressions on the minds of the populace at the time the events happened, according to the varied circum stances reported, and in passing from one person to another, no two persons almost are found to recite a traditional ballad in the same form, or give exactly the same circumstances.
There are about a dozen airs in the volumes, different sets of which were given in Johnson's Museum. When the Editor consulted his friend the late Dr. Laing, who knew more about ballads and ballad music than any other one in Scotland, he quite agreed with him in his opinion that the original copies of traditional Airs can scarcely be found unless got from the original composer, seeing that they pass through so many persons until they are noted by the collector of them.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - William Christie
Published Date - August 23 2019
ISBN - 9780331641127
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2 cm
Page Count - 321
Published Date - August 23 2019
ISBN - 9780259878339
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
Page Count - 323
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