AN IMITATION Of one of "Moore's Melodies" - Broadside ballad sheet from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:3rd of May 1826

Description:A call to the INDEPENDENT FREEHOLDERS OF STAFFORDSHIRE

This song urges local freeholders to vote for a candidate named Dent.

The song is sung to the tune, or 'air' Hearts of Oak by Thomas Moore (1779-1852).

Thomas Moore

Irish poet and songwriter. Between 1807 and 1834 he wrote a ten volume series of publications entitled Irish Melodies (some in collaboration with Sir John Stevenson). They were hugely successful. Published in many languages, Moore's songs popularized Irish music all over the world.

He was also a respected poet. His reputation is cited as equalling that of Byron or Shelley. In 1817 he was paid a record 3000 pounds for his book-length poem Lalla Rookh.

Broadside ballads

Broadsides or broadsheets were a popular way of distributing and publishing songs.

It was a practice that had been growing in popularity since the birth of the printing press in the 1500s and carried on until the early 1900s.

These ballads covered many different subjects including romance, nationalism, famous individuals, current affairs and, in this case, politics.

Ballad singing was not only used as a form of entertainment. In this period there was a high level of illiteracy amongst the working classes. Ballad singing became a good way to spread news, ideas or propaganda.

Broadsides were often sold by street hawkers who would also sing the songs.

About this document

This document was printed by Drewry Printers in Stafford and collected by Burslem pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood. It is now amongst the collections of Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

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