ISBN 10: 0-543-87316-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-543-87316-3
INTRODUCTORY HISTORICAL SKETCH.
FOR the hear to break forth in song, whether to express love, merriment, or national and political sentiment, is so natural, that we may safely contemplate song as one of the earliest forms of literary composition in all countries. As far as Scotland is concerned—we find that the death of Alexander III (1286 A.D.) was bewailed in popular song; that the Scots had satirical songs on Edward I. and admiring ditties regarding Sir William Wallace; and that the triumph over the English at Bannockburn was hailed in an outburst of rude, but joyful verse. We find various allusions to popular songs in the histories of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and in such poems of those ages as have survived, a whole catalogue of such ditties being given in the comic piece called Cockilby’s Sow, which appears to have been composed in the middle of the fifteenth century.