The History of Leith

August 24, 2006

Piper John, Or Bottom’s Lament

This political ballad begins: ‘OLD Leith and Portobello / Had once a snivelling fellow, / All in the parliament, sir, / Their cause to represent, sir, / Whose name was Piper John.’ A note below the title states that the ballad should be sung to the tune, ‘Buxom Joan of Deptford’. Although there are no publication details included on this sheet, the reference to Francis Jeffrey suggests that it was almost certainly published in Edinburgh during the 1830s.for more click here

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