Broadside Ballads

Sold in the streets for a penny or halfpenny between the 16th and early 20th centuries, broadside ballads were popular songs of the day, often anonymous, and were performed in taverns, homes, or fairs. The examples below, relating to the poor-law and workhouse, are from the Bodleian Library's collection. A Bodleian shelfmark follows each title.

You can listen to a recording (MP3) of The Workhouse Boy (a variation on The Vorkhouse Boy above) performed by the Seven Dials Band (by kind permission of Beautiful Jo Records).

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