This essay examines the images of Scots portrayed in English broadside ballads of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. On the one hand, ballads on political themes most often portrayed the “blue caps” of Scotland as traitors and rebels. On the other hand, the wooing ballads of the period promoted an idealized “north country” as backdrop to the amorous adventures of “Jockey” and “Jenny.” Adam Fox argues that the “Scotch” tunes composed for songbooks, plays, and broadsides in London during the late seventeenth century came to be adopted by the popular press in Scotland as it developed over the following generations. As a result, melodies of English provenance were naturalized north of the border and entered the repertoire of “Caledonian airs” that were to become such a defining feature of Scottish culture in the Georgian age.
- late seventeenth-century popular music
- Scottish stereotypes
- Thomas D’Urfey
- Martin Parker
- cultural influence of ballads