Broadside Ballads

Broadside ballads are of great interest to Traditional Song Forum members because of their strong links to the tradition, as is explained in the article below by Steve Gardham. This has led to the annual Broadside Day, arranged in association with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, at which speakers explain many aspects of the publication of broadsides. The following articles about broadside ballads focus particularly on songs in street literature.

 

The Broadside Ballad

A short article on Broadside ballads by Steve Gardham

 

Baring-Gould on Broadsides

In his book Strange Survivals (1892) Sabine Baring-Gould included a chapter on Broadside Ballads. When he started to collect folk songs in 1888 he began to make a collection of street literature which, at its peak, numbered more than 4,000 items. This included many broadside ballads, as well as chap-books and other items. He gave much of this collection to the British Library and it is now one of their most important collections. Several volumes of street literature remained in his library at his death and these will become available in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Digital Database later in 2017.